Common Causes of Road Accidents

Road accidents are something we all want to avoid, but the unfortunate reality is, even with new roads, vehicles with higher safety ratings and drive safe advertising, crashes still occur frequently.

When looking at the common causes of road accidents, these are similar across both New Zealand and Australia.

Let's take a look at some of these causes.


This is still a major cause of road accidents. When you drive over the speed limit:

·      You decrease your reaction time to sudden changes on the road

·      You increase your breaking distance, reducing your ability to avoid a collision

·      You have greater chance of losing control of your vehicle.

And of course, you're not only putting yourself at risk, but your passengers and other road users.

Drugs & Alcohol

We all know driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol impairs our driving. Our reaction time, reflexes, eye coordination and ability to control the vehicle are all impacted. This can lead to miscalculations and reckless driving.

Driver Fatigue

This relates to tiredness, weariness or exhaustion and has similar effects to driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. It significantly affects your reaction time and awareness to what's around you - road hazards, traffic signs, other vehicles.  


Driver distractions include a range of activities where your attention as the diver is directed away from safe driving, towards competing events, objects or people, both inside and outside the vehicle. Examples include loud music, children crying, passengers arguing, mobile phone, eating, looking at map etc. Distractions cause inattention which can lead to accidents.

Failing to Give Way

This happens quite frequently, and no doubt you've been on the receiving end of someone not giving way and the feelings associated with that! Not giving way at intersections, one-lane bridges, pedestrian crossings and any other place you need to give priority to another road user or pedestrian, increases the chance of having a road accident.

One of the reasons that new roads, safer vehicles and drive safe advertising cannot prevent all road accidents from occurring, is because it’s up to us, the individual driver.These common causes of road accidents are all linked to driver awareness, driver behaviour and driver wellbeing. And that is the reason our online training focuses on these areas. These are the areas that can deliver great benefit to your fleet of drivers, your company and other road users and pedestrians. Training where it counts!

If you're wanting safer, smarter, more efficient drivers on the road, we encourage you to get in touch for a Free Trial of SharpDrive. Test it out for yourself!