Every year thousands of people in Tennessee are injured and killed in car accidents. Many of these crashes are caused by human error. We looked at data from the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security for the last five years and found which driver actions caused the most accidents. Here is our top ten list….

10. Improper Turn

Improper turn accidents accounted for 20,125 accidents. Using lanes designated for moving right or left, turn signals and stop lights keeps us safe. Accidents happen when people don’t get in the proper lane to make a turn, use signals properly, or follow traffic signals. Always look out for traffic signs and obey the proper right-of-way when you make a turn.

9. Swerving or Avoiding

Swerving or avoiding caused 23,298 auto accidents. Drivers may swerve to avoid hitting a pedestrian, animal, or pothole. Sometimes swerving to avoid accidents on the road is necessary, but it's important to know the dangers of swerving and how to avoid a car accident.

8. Failure to Obey Traffic Controls

Failure to obey traffic controls can cause a serious accident. This action caused 23,497 car accidents. Red always means stop and by breaking this law you are putting your life and others around you in terrible danger. Always look both ways for oncoming cars as you approach a light or stop sign to avoid a car accident.

7. Improper Lane Changing

Improper lane changing caused 27,547 accidents. While exiting the freeway, getting into a turn lane or simply changing lanes, always use your turn signal and check your blind spots to help prevent a needless car accident.

6. Speeding

Traveling beyond the speed limit is an effortless way to cause a car accident. This action accounted for 28,042 accidents. Your reaction time lessons the faster you drive, therefore causing you to not react quickly enough to prevent an accident. Even if you are running late, staying within the legal speed limit will help to keep yourself and those around you safe.

5. Careless or Erratic Driving

Careless or erratic driving clearly contributes to auto accidents and caused 46,718 during our observed time frame. Remember to remain calm and take your time while driving to avoid a harmful car accident. Erratic drivers are often impatient in traffic so be extra careful around this kind of driver.

4. Inattentive

Inattentive driving, otherwise known as distracted driving, is responsible for 60,642 car accidents. Generally, inattentive driving is the failure to pay proper attention to the road. This includes talking, eating, putting on makeup and, of course, using cell phones.

3. Failure to Keep in Proper Lane or Running Off Road

Failure to keep in proper lane or running off road accounted for 98,604 auto accidents. When a vehicle leaves their lane or the roadway there are contributing factors that include attempting to avoid colliding with another road user or animal, loss of control or misjudging a curve.

2. Failure to Yield to Right of Way

Failure to Yield to Right of Way leads to numerous crashes; 125,113 to be exact. While driving, there are many instances where drivers are expected to yield. This includes at a yield sign, to pedestrians in a crosswalk, to oncoming traffic while waiting to make a left turn, returning to the roadway after the car is parked, plus many more.

1. Following Improperly

Following improperly caused the most accidents during the time frame observed with a number of 160, 891 accidents! Many drivers are impatient and do not keep a safe distance from the car in front of them. There needs to be a one car length buffer for every 10 mph. Many fatal car accidents have occurred when a motorist dangerously tailgated another driver at high speeds not allowing for a safe reaction time to brake or react to sudden turns.

It is important to note that not all car crash causes can be accounted for, particularly when it comes to understanding all the variables involved in a traffic accident, nor is it easy to obtain all the facts in order to do so. For example, 31% of all fatal accidents had no reported cause at all.

We also expect that driver accidents due to driver distraction should be much, much higher on the list, but how many people can you imagine actually volunteering to an investigating police officer or an insurance company that they were texting a friend on a cellphone just before an accident?

In the end, it is our hope that we can all be more cautious, safer drivers anytime we are traveling for our own benefit as well as that of those sharing the roads with us. Please pass share this information with your friends and loved ones, together we can make America's roads safer. TOGETHER WE CAN HELP SAVE LIVES!

Sponsored by: Nashville Car Accident Lawyers at the law offices of Matt Hardin Law

Source: Tennessee Department of Saftey & Homeland Security