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Common reasons for accidents that occur on the highway

In 2017, there were nearly 130,000 car crashes, resulting in over 840 deaths and over 65,000 injuries on Virginia roads. Many of these accidents happen on the highway, but what is the cause? 

Distracted driving

When sitting in stop and go traffic on the highway it can be hard to resist the urge to pull out one’s phone and respond to a waiting text or email. However, this can leave a driver vulnerable to a rear-end accident when they are not looking for brake lights in front of them. While these accidents are not always severe, there is a possibility of doing major damage to both drivers and vehicles.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that speeding is involved in one-third of all car accidents and contributed to 26 percent of traffic deaths in 2017. Many people speed while they are driving on the highway, including driving well over 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. When drivers are speeding excessively, they may not be able to control their car or have adequate reaction time if another car or obstruction appears in their way.

Drowsy driving

Many people find their eyes glazing over or their brain turning on auto pilot on their way to and from work. Often, this occurs when drivers are on the highway which can leave all cars on the road vulnerable to an accident.

Road rage

Coming home from a stressful day at work, driving behind a car traveling ten miles under the speed limit and being cut off by another car are all examples of reasons that one may experience road rage. When one is driving under the influence of this rage, they may speed, perform unsafe driving maneuvers or disregard the rules of the road. All of these can make a crash more probable.

Not all accidents are preventable but knowing common causes of crashes that happen on the highway can help drivers stay safe.