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Bennett Johnson, LLP

Determining the Cause of an Accident Can Strengthen Your Case

Car accidents are extremely common occurrences, and in many cases, are completely preventable. While reckless and negligent driving is to blame for many car accidents, there are other factors that can also factor into your accident, such as auto defects and dangerous roads. Richard C. Bennett, William Johnson, and the rest of the legal team at Bennett Johnson, LLP, work with various experts to investigate car accident causes. Often, the cause of your accident will directly point to the responsible party. We look forward to helping you get the answers you need. To schedule your complimentary case review at our various practice locations in Napa, Santa Maria, and Oakland, CA, call us at (805) 438-2952 or send us an online message.

a man looking at his cell phone while driving
Distracted drivers, such as those texting while driving, are much more likely to cause an accident.

Most Common Causes of Car Accidents

The most common driver-related causes of car accidents include: 

Distracted Driving 

A variety of activities can distract a driver enough to cause an accident, including:

  • Texting 
  • Eating 
  • Reading 
  • Putting on makeup 
  • Talking to a passenger 

An organization called TeenSafe® estimates that distracted driving accounts for nearly 25 percent of all fatal car accidents. 

Drunk Driving 

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health's (NSDUH) 2016 study estimated that 20.7 million people over the age of 16 had driven while intoxicated during the past year. An equally alarming statistic by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that alcohol was involved in 28 percent of all traffic-related deaths


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding was a factor in 30 percent of fatal crashes during the year 2012. Intoxicated drivers were more likely to speed, creating a dangerous combination of causes contributing to serious or even fatal accidents.

Because many common causes of car accidents are negligence or recklessness and could have been avoided, you need a lawyer who can reconstruct the accident, determine the cause, and use the cause to point to the responsible party. 

Running Red Lights 

Running a red light or rolling into the intersection while making a right turn on red can have fatal consequences. According to, rolling while turning right at a red light accounts for 6 percent of pedestrian deaths. While drivers are looking left for oncoming cars, they ignore the pedestrians coming down the right side sidewalk. 


Following another driver too closely makes it difficult to avoid an accident in the event that traffic stops suddenly. This type of reckless driving can lead to rear-end accidents. 

Drug Use 

According to the NSDUH, 11.8 million drivers drove under the influence of drugs during the year 2016. The most common drug found was marijuana. It is estimated that drivers that have marijuana components in their system are two times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than sober drivers.

Prescription drugs can also lead to accidents. A 2010 study found that 47 percent of drivers with drugs in their system involved in fatal accidents had used a prescription drug. Even common drugs prescribed by your docto can impair your senses and ability to avoid accidents. 

Drowsy Driving 

According to studies, driving while drowsy is even more dangerous than driving drunk. A study by the NHTSA found that 23 percent of drivers involved in accidents were classified as fatigued

Other Potential Causes 

While negligent, reckless behavior can lead to many accidents, there are other factors where the driver may not be at fault. 

Auto Defects 

Safety-related auto defects, such as faulty steering components, defective fuel components, bad accelerator controls, and poorly manufactured wheels, can cause devastating accidents. If a poorly designed or manufactured auto part directly led to your accident, you may be eligible for a product liability claim. 

Dangerous Road Conditions 

Potholes, unkept roads, or other dangerous factors are the responsibility of the transit authority to maintain. If dangerous road conditions led to your accident, you could be eligible for a premises liability lawsuit. We can help you compile evidence that negligence on the part of the transit authority led to your accident. 

Why Hire a Lawyer?

Large corporations, such as auto manufacturers and government agencies, will have their own lawyer on their side to protect their own interests, but our lawyers are committed to helping you protect your best interests and receive full financial compensation. 

Get the Answers You Need 

Our firm works with in-house investigators, reconstruction experts, and local authorities to establish causation and determine liability. Because of the impact that the cause of your accident can have on your case, you need a legal team with a proven track record of success on your side. To schedule your free consultation, call one of our three convenient locations or message us online

Get In Touch

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Oakland Office

1901 Harrison St
Ste 1600
Oakland, CA 94612

Closed Today

Fax: (510) 835-4260

More Info Directions (510) 444-5020

Napa Office

1564 First St
Napa, CA 94559

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Fax: (510) 835-4260

More Info Directions (707) 257-2110

Santa Maria Office

204 N Vine St
Santa Maria, CA 93454

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Fax: (510) 835-4260

More Info Directions (805) 438-2952