In the U.S., car accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence. While many of these accidents are relatively minor, it’s critical to remember that auto accidents claim the lives of thousands of people every year.

Fortunately, most car accidents are the result of preventable human errors. Below are the leading causes of car accidents in the U.S. and what you can do to avoid them:

Distracted driving

In the U.S., distracted driving is the most common cause of car accidents. When you think of driving distracted, it’s likely that texting while driving comes to mind. While technology like smartphones and built-in touchscreens certainly don’t make drivers any less distracted, distracted driving includes any activity that takes your attention from driving – even eating or fiddling with the radio. It only takes a few seconds of distraction to cause an accident.

Drunk driving

While fatalities caused by drunk driving have declined by 50% in the last several decades, driving drunk remains one of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States. As most people are well aware, alcohol impairs a person’s judgment and slows their response time, increasing their odds of getting into an accident. Always find a sober ride home or stay put if you’ve been drinking.

Speeding

Speed limits provide drivers with a safe, consistent and reasonable speed to protect everyone on the road. Not only is speeding illegal, but it increases the likelihood of you losing control of your vehicle and getting into a collision. Speeding also increases the degree of crash severity and often leads to more severe injuries.

Reckless driving

Reckless driving encompasses a broad range of driving behaviors, including speeding, tailgating, ignoring traffic signs or changing lanes quickly. These behaviors are commonly seen in drivers who are in a hurry or who are under the influence. Remember that none of these bad driving habits will get you to your destination faster and all of them increase your risk of an accident on the road.

Inclement weather conditions

Driving in unsuitable or dangerous weather conditions can be difficult even for seasoned drivers on the road. Rain, snow, dense fog or icy roads can limit visibility and put you at risk of losing control of your vehicle. Be sure to practice extra caution if you must drive in hazardous weather to avoid a crash.

Running red lights

Whether a person isn’t paying attention or deliberately disregards the law, running a red light is illegal and dangerous. Be sure always to keep your eyes on the road when you’re behind the wheel and abide by all traffic lights even if no other cars are around.