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Common Causes of Car Accidents in Alaska

What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Alaska?

According to data from The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in 2020, there were 35, 766 fatal car crashes in the United States—53 of which occurred in Alaska. Accidents that do not result in fatalities can still have a lasting effect on those involved as victims in a car accident can suffer from burns, lacerations, traumatic brain injuries, and other serious injuries. Below, we will outline the common causes of car accidents in Alaska.

Moose or Animals

Alaskan drivers often suffer injuries from moose-related car crashes. Moose (and other wildlife) can dart into traffic unexpectedly or startle drivers, which can lead to a crash. Typically, most moose-related crashes occur in the winter; however, wildlife can be attracted to vegetation that is on the roadside, which can appear year-round. During sunrise or sunset, drivers should use extreme caution as these are active times for animals.

Distracted Driving

Drivers engaging in other activities can lead to a car crash. Texting and driving is a well-known form of distracted driving, but accidents can also happen if drivers become distracted by:

  • Grooming activities (i.e. applying makeup, fixing your hair, etc.)
  • Fiddling with their stereo or playlists
  • Becoming distracted by their passengers
  • Any activity that splits their attention between driving and that activity

Drunk Driving

In 2020, 26 drivers were killed in a fatal car crash that involved drinking and driving in Alaska. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not only a serious criminal offense but also commonly causes auto accidents. If you or another vehicle operate drive while impaired, your judgment can be impaired, and your reaction times will be delayed.

Aggressive Driving

Amongst the leading causes of car crashes in Alaska is aggressive driving, which occurs when a driver engages in unsafe behavior and disregards the safety of those on the road (including themselves). In many cases, aggressive drivers are acting with ill intent and may suffer from road rage. You may notice an aggressive driver if they exhibit any of the following behaviors:

  • Brake-checking other vehicles
  • Cutting off other vehicles on the road
  • Engaging in unsafe lane changes
  • Ignoring traffic signals and lights
  • Preventing other vehicles from passing them or changing lanes
  • Tailgating


According to the National Highway & Traffic Safety Administration, speeding has been a factor in about one-third of motor accident fatalities for over two decades, and in 2019, 9,478 died because of speeding. Even if you are running late or want to speed through traffic, you should be mindful of your speed and adhere to the speed limit. In addition to being illegal, speeding can cause drivers to:

Inclement Weather

Poor weather conditions can cause car crashes as:

  • Drivers’ visibility is impacted.
  • Road conditions can become unsafe.
  • Certain weather conditions can impact your ability to drive or stop your vehicle.

Hazardous Road Conditions

If roads are poorly maintained, drivers may suffer injuries in an accident. From potholes to rockslides to faded dash lines, dangerous road conditions can negatively affect the safety of those on the road.

If you or a loved one have been involved in an auto accident, contact the Law Offices of David Henderson today by calling (888) 295-6566 or reaching out online.