Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents in Pennsylvania

Categories: Car Crashes

motor vehicle accident causes

No two car accidents are alike, but there are some common reasons why they occur in Pennsylvania. As a car accident attorney for almost 2 decades, I have seen my fair share of accidents – and know what typically causes them. If you have been seriously injured, contact me today to schedule a case evaluation.

A Few Statistics

  • In Pennsylvania, there were 121,317 traffic accidents – 1,195 of which were fatal – in 2015.
  • The fatality rate per miles traveled was the second lowest since 1951 in 2015.
  • Traffic accidents caused citizens in PA an estimated loss of $1,083 each – including every man, woman, and child in the state.
  • More crashes involved fixed objects than other types of crashes – and this was also the leading cause of fatal accidents in 2015.

Distracted Driving

Whether a person is talking on their cellphone, changing the radio, or programming their GPS unit, when their eyes, attention, or hands are away from the road, they are at risk for causing a serious accident. According to a study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 80 percent of crashes involve distractions of some kind.


Speed limits are set for a reason in the state – to prevent accidents. If someone fails to follow these speed limits, especially in residential neighborhoods or school zones, they are at higher risk for causing serious injuries.

Fatigued Driving

Unfortunately, drowsy driving can significantly impair a person’s response times in an emergency. Sometimes, people will doze off at the wheel for several seconds without realizing it.

Driving While Under the Influence

Despite public awareness and harsh criminal penalties, individuals still choose to get behind the wheel while drunk or under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. Driving while under the influence is extremely dangerous, and can result in a fatality.

Poor Weather Conditions

Pennsylvania is known for its weather. Weather always plays a major role in accidents. When visibility is poor or the roads are slick, there is a higher chance that vehicles will lose control.

Intentional Vehicle Accidents

Sadly, there are those who exhibit behaviors that make them prone to accidents. While these individuals do not purposely drive with the intent to cause an accident, they act so recklessly that accidents are inevitable. Aggressive driving behaviors can include:

  • Tailgating
  • Failing to merge properly
  • Speeding
  • Cutting off another driver
  • Flashing headlights at drivers
  • Disregarding traffic signals
  • Unsafe lane changes or frequent lane changing

Were You Injured in a Car Accident? Contact a PA Attorney

If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an accident with another driver and that driver was negligent, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact my office today for a free consultation at 800-465-8795 (office), 215-771-0430 (cell) or fill-out my online contact form with your legal questions.