Driving Errors That Increase Your Risk for a Serious Crash

young male driver on phone and textingCar crashes are a leading cause of death in the U.S. Sadly, most of these collisions are caused by driver error and could have been prevented.

Learn more about these common acts of negligence, including how to help prevent being involved in a car crash because of one or more types of driver errors.

If you are a victim injured by another's negligence, you may be eligible to seek compensation to help cover medical costs, lost wages and more. Our auto accident lawyers in Knoxville are ready to help after an accident that caused you harm. 

FREE Case Review. Call: (865) 247-0080

Frequent Driver Errors That Lead to Crashes

Drivers generally do not get behind the wheel with the intention of wrecking their car or any other vehicles on the road. Rather, car crashes are almost always down to errors - acts of negligence - committed by one or more drivers. The most common driving errors responsible for a variety of car crashes include:

Driver Distraction

Driver distractions are one of the leading causes of collisions today. While the use of smartphones is still one the best-known risks for distracting drivers, it is not the only one. 

In addition to texting and driving, other common distracted driving behaviors which can and often do lead to serious car crashes include:

  • Passenger distractions: Whether tending to a child or arguing or goofing around with others in the car, passenger distractions take the driver’s focus off of the road, significantly increasing the risk of a crash.

  • Eating, singing, daydreaming, conversing, driving while feeling emotionally charged: Many people may be surprised that this behavior is either distracting or dangerous, but it is easy to miss a road hazard, construction zone or traffic light that has turned red in a split second of not paying attention.

  • Messing with vehicle controls or GPS: Looking away from the road for any reason could cause you to lose control of your vehicle, drift into another lane of traffic or miss a car that has just pulled in front of you.

  • Checking out a roadside accident: Depending on how fast you are traveling,  this driver error could lead to a serious rear-end, head-on or multi-car crash.

In short, while operating a vehicle - any behavior that impacts your visual, mental - or manual focus (taking your hands off the wheel) puts you and others at risk for a collision.


Drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol are more likely to engage in reckless driving behavior, such as aggressive speeding or dangerously darting in and out of traffic lanes. However, those who get behind the wheel while fatigued are also more likely to cause a crash. Drowsy drivers may dose off and veer into another lane of traffic, miss traffic lights or be unable to react to other road hazards.

Impaired driving of any kind affects drivers in many ways, including their:

  • Motor skills and ability to handle a vehicle - extremely dangerous in any kind of road or weather condition
  • Eye to hand coordination - impacts a driver's ability to respond to hazards and/or maintain control of the vehicle
  • The ability to make complex mental decisions or quickly process information about road conditions or other drivers
  • Visual competency or ability to judge the speed or distance of other vehicles 


Impatience while driving is a dangerous and sometimes deadly driver error. While it is often due to other life stressors, such as problems at home or work, it is sometimes simply the result of a driver not allowing enough time to get to their destination. Regardless of the reason for stress, an impatient driver is often guilty of following too closely, darting in and out of traffic and blowing through red lights and other risky actions. Additionally, impatience can quickly cause a driver to become engaged in  - or incite another driver to become engaged in - one or more types of road rage, such as:

  • Laying on the car horn
  • Aggressive tailgating
  • Darting in and out of traffic lanes
  • Making offensive gestures
  • Vehicle assault
  • Physical assault


Many drivers speed, especially once they get out on highways or other roads where there are increased limits. No matter how fast the speed limit already is, people still want to get there faster, leading them to drive too fast for the traffic, their car's ability, or road or weather conditions, which:

  • Makes it more likely they will lose control of their car - vehicles do not handle the same way at higher rates of speed
  • Increases the risk of a serious or deadly crash
  • More than doubles the risk for sustaining and/or causing a deadly or life-altering injury

Failure to Maintain a Safe Vehicle 

It is all too easy to forget to maintain the safe operation of your vehicle, but every driver has that responsibility. Failure to regularly care for your car could contribute to a serious car crash, such as by not indicating to others you are stopping or turning. Failed brakes can also lead to a car crash and cause serious harm.

Vehicle maintenance includes:

  • Doing seasonal check-ups to check the oil and other fluids
  • Tire care and maintenance - regularly checking the tread, pressure and replacing tires when worn or damaged
  • Brake servicing and maintenance
  • Checking all belts, hoses, spark plugs
  • Replacing windshield wipers and wiper fluid to ensure you have a clean window and full view when driving
  • Maintaining your brake lights, tail lights, headlights and turn signal indicator lights

How You Can Avoid These Errors and Stay Safer on the Road

These errors do not just place the lives of drivers at risk, but also others on the road. While you cannot control others, you can take the necessary steps to help keep you and your family safer when you are behind the wheel. 

Important ways you can help to prevent driver errors include:

  • Planning extra time into your travel - check ahead for any road detours or delays
  • Following traffic safety laws
  • Using turn signals and head lights appropriately
  • Maintaining your vehicle according to your car's service recommendations - and also regularly checking things you can see for yourself, such as your tires and windshield wipers
  • Preparing before setting off in your car - such as setting your GPS, turning off texts, setting music to a lower volume, fastening your seat belt, etc.
  • Settling children - Small children always bring the unexpected. However, you can prepare them as much as possible. Strap them properly in their seatbelt and make sure they are fed and comfortable before setting off. When unexpected issues arise, find a safe place to pull off to the side of the road to take care of them.
  • Avoiding and not engaging with aggressive drivers. Rather, it is better to give them space and get out of their way. Even if they are in the wrong, challenging an angry or aggressive driver is more likely to cause you harm than to prove any point.

Injured by a Negligent Driver? Our Law Offices Are Ready to Help

Call Greg Coleman Law offices when you need experienced legal help on your side. Our dedicated team of legal professionals is prepared to fight for the maximum amount of compensation available on your behalf. 

We have decades of experience and a proven track record, recovering millions for our injured clients. Call to schedule your free consultation today - there is no obligation to move forward with our firm. If we do represent you, there are no upfront costs or fees to pay. We do not collect any payment for our services unless we recover compensation for you.

No Upfront Costs. Ph: (865) 247-0080