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People spend a lot of time trying to figure out why auto accidents happen. When you can identify the causes, you can then take steps to prevent them. For instance, the clear number of drunk driving accidents led to organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). The rise in distracted driving in recent years has led many states to make it illegal.

So, if you know the No. 1 reason for every accident that happens on the road, wouldn’t that be helpful? Couldn’t you put an end to accidents and save lives?

As you’ll see, it’s not that simple.

The problem is that, in at least 90% of accident cases, the reason is human error. Auto wrecks happen because drivers are human, and human beings make mistakes. As the saying goes in the health care industry: “To err is human.” That sentiment applies to the road, as well. Errors are so common, and as long as people are making them, accidents are going to be just as common.

At this point, you just cannot take human drivers out of the equation. Self-driving cars may be widely available at some point. That in itself is a bit of a controversial topic, with those who think they would be safer, and those who disagree. But it doesn’t even matter right now because we don’t have them developed to the point that they could take over. You still must have people behind the wheel, and you are still going to have accidents.

This isn’t to sound bleak, but just to make sure you understand the risks. You also need to know your options if you get injured in an accident.