Common Causes of Car Accidents in North Carolina

Every car accident is different, but there are several common causes of North Carolina car accidents. Negligent drivers are responsible for many North Carolina car accidents. However, some car accidents are due to motor vehicle malfunction or malfunctioning parts. Other car accidents are caused by inclement weather or some combination of these factors. Regardless of the cause, victims of car accidents may be entitled to damages for their injuries. Under North Carolina law, negligent drivers are financially responsible for the injuries they cause other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. Here are some of the most common causes of car accidents in North Carolina.

Reckless or Aggressive Driving

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, operating vehicles in an erratic, reckless, careless, negligent, or aggressive manner caused over 12,000 motor vehicle crashes in 2019. In these crashes, over 5,000 people became injured and 288 people died. Aggressive driving is far too common in North Carolina. Types of aggressive driving include tailgating, making abrupt lane changes, passing other vehicles, or running red lights. Aggressive drivers put everyone on the road at risk of becoming injured in a dangerous car accident.

Typically, aggressive driving includes engaging in moving traffic violations in a way that endangers another person or property. Drivers who drive aggressively and cause a motor vehicle accident are likely to be found responsible for the injuries suffered by passengers and other drivers.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is extremely dangerous and has never been easier to engage in with advances in car connectivity and the variety of popular communication apps available. Drivers have various technological devices that constantly tempt them while driving. Distracted driving includes any activity that takes the driver's eyes off the road or hands off of the steering wheel. Distracted driving can also include non-technological activities such as eating or drinking, dealing with pets, adjusting the radio, daydreaming, or applying makeup while driving. According to data from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, over 20% of car accidents in North Carolina involve some type of distracted driving.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is another common cause of North Carolina car accidents. Operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration above .08% for passenger vehicle drivers, or .04% for commercial drivers, is illegal in North Carolina. However, even if the driver who caused your accident did not have a blood-alcohol level of .08%, you may still be able to sue them in a civil court successfully. When a driver's blood-alcohol level causes them to drive in an unreasonable manner under the circumstances, they are still liable for any injuries caused by their drunk driving.

Driving while under the influence of illegal drugs or any other type of controlled substance is also dangerous and can cause accidents. In some cases, drivers may operate a vehicle even when taking prescription medication that warns against doing so. If you suspect that the driver who caused your car accident was drunk or under the influence of controlled substances, it is essential that you consult with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Failure to Obey Traffic Signs

Those who fail to obey traffic signs cause many accidents in North Carolina. Drivers who violate traffic signs can be fined and penalized if they are caught. They can also be held accountable through a personal injury lawsuit in civil court by the person or people they injured. Common examples of ways in which drivers ignore traffic lights include speeding, tailgating, unsafe passing, running red lights, and blocking intersections.


Speeding causes thousands of car accident deaths every year. When a driver speeds, he or she is less able to slow down effectively or respond to new variables. When a driver drives at higher speeds, he or she will have less control over the motor vehicle, decreasing the ability to maneuver around potential hazards that can arise in the roadway. When drivers speed through an intersection, for example, they may not be able to slow down in time to avoid colliding with a car that is turning left. If a speeding driver has injured you, you may be entitled to compensation.

Contact a North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Today

Have you been injured in a car accident caused by someone else's negligence? If so, you may be entitled to damages for your injuries. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we believe that negligent drivers should be held accountable, and we advocate strongly so our clients can obtain the compensation they deserve. Contact our North Carolina car accident lawyers today at 704-370-2828 to schedule your free initial consultation.

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