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Fatal crashes: what are the most common causes?

While fatal auto accidents are tragic, do you stop and wonder what are the most common causes for such crashes?

The Auto Insurance Center set out to find the answer to this question, according to an article by Business Insider. The data, which includes a variety of information on both driver and passenger fatalities, was compiled based on research recorded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Fatal Accident Reporting System for a span from 2009 to 2013.

According to the article, the most common behavior leading to deadly driving in California is the “improper turn.” Nationwide, failing to keep in proper lane leads to the greatest number of fatal accidents, followed by failure to yield the right of way.

The other most common causes of accidents include:

  • Reckless or careless driving
  • Over correcting
  • Not adjusting to road surface
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Not adjusting to road obstructions
  • Operating without required equipment

In terms of drunk driving and speeding, behaviors most commonly associated with deadly automobile accidents, California ranks towards the bottom half of states.

Amongst other causes, the NHTSA attributes more California crashes to fog rather than snow (as expected), and to crosswinds rather than sleet (again, as expected).

According to research, North Dakota is the deadliest state for driving per capita, while Washington D.C. and New York rank as having the fewest accidents per capita due to alcohol. This can be attributed to factors such as access to public transport or even duration of trips.

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