Beware These Surprising Causes of Car Accidents in California

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There are some unexpected reasons that could lead to an auto collision in Southern California, such as slow drivers, wildlife, rubbernecking, and experiencing road rage. Talk to a seasoned car accident lawyer today to discuss your options for pursuing a claim.

Car accidents are an unfortunate part of life. Even the most careful and cautious drivers may find themselves struck by another vehicle, resulting in painful and costly injuries. Although most of us are familiar with many of the well-known causes of accidents (i.e., intoxicated drivers, exceeding posted speed limits, texting while driving, etc.), some unexpected reasons could lead to an auto collision in Southern California. Let’s take a look at some of these surprising causes of car accidents and what steps you should take in the event you suffer an injury in Riverside County.

Slow Drivers

Most people recognize that speeding can increase the likelihood of a collision, as traveling over the speed limit makes it harder to brake to avoid an accident. However, what about vehicles going under posted speed limits? Slow vehicles can impede the flow of traffic and make it harder for other drivers to navigate roadways smoothly and efficiently. Additionally, slow-moving vehicles can frustrate other drivers, prompting them to speed up or lurch suddenly to surpass or move around these obstacles. Unfortunately, frustrated drivers tend to make sudden and unexpected movements, increasing the risk of collision. As you travel along Southern California roadways, keep an eye out for cars and trucks that are moving well above—and well below—the posted speed limit.


When most of us picture an animal that could cause a crash, a deer or moose comes to mind. It’s common to assume that wildlife-related accidents only occur in northern states that get a lot of snow, which leads to poor visibility and icy conditions. However, both wild animals and domesticated pets can trigger auto accidents, even in broad daylight. For instance, a squirrel or cat may appear suddenly in front of you, tearing your attention away from your surroundings and prompting you to focus only on avoiding the animal. Unfortunately, in your attempt to save the animal’s life, you may steer your car into another lane or collide with another vehicle. An animal’s unpredictable movements can seriously jeopardize your safety on the road. This also goes for pets traveling with you inside your car—their sudden movements can force you to look away from the road and increase the likelihood of colliding with the vehicle in front of you.


It’s no secret that witnessing a car collision absorbs our attention. Ironically, drivers who take their eyes off the road to look at emergency vehicles and totaled cars on the side of the road may increase their chances of ending up in a car accident as well. Any commotion that compels drivers to become distracted or disengaged behind the wheel can threaten the overall safety of the vehicle. If you see a car accident up ahead, try to stay focused on the task at hand and look out for other drivers who may stop suddenly to stare at the scene or otherwise fail to operate their cars with the full attention the task requires.

Heightened Emotions

We don’t usually consider how our emotional state affects our driving abilities. Driving while intoxicated is widely understood to be a significant threat to our safety, as substances like alcohol and drugs can impair driver reaction times. However, driving in a highly emotional state can also pose a very real risk to your safety and that of others on the road. Excessive anger or despair can command a lot of your attention, preventing you from focusing on the task of driving. When our minds wander or get lost in memories or daydreams, we may fail to notice dangers around us, like cars stopping suddenly in front of us or roads that have become overly slick or icy. If you are getting behind the wheel while struggling with powerful emotions, recognize that these sensations may try to distract you from operating your vehicle safely.

What to Do in the Event of a Temecula Car Accident

As careful as we may be, accidents still happen. If you are involved in a car collision in Temecula or Murrieta, you should immediately assess yourself and others for injuries requiring immediate medical attention. Even if you do not believe your injuries warrant a trip to the hospital, be sure to visit your doctor within the next few days to have your injuries evaluated and documented. You should also contact local law enforcement so the responding officer can compile a police report. This document will provide an objective account of the details surrounding the crash, such as witness statements, weather conditions, road hazards, and other factors that played a role in the collision.

As you focus on your physical recovery, reach out to an experienced and trusted Temecula auto accident lawyer to discuss your options for seeking the compensation you need to support your recovery. Your attorney will help you identify the most strategic path forward to maximize your settlement offer so you can get your life back on track.


If you need help recovering compensation after suffering an auto accident injury in Temecula or Murrieta, call Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, today at (951) 489-3320.

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