Almost every driver has been there before: a recent wreck seen on the side of the road, blue and red lights flashing and a long line of drivers curious to know what happened. To be on this side of an accident is fortunate; countless Tennesseeans experience dangerous — and even deadly — accidents while on the road. Still, the curiosity of why wrecks happen in the first place plagues the minds of many. How do these tragic accidents occur, and can anything be done to prevent them? 

Complex magazine runs through a list of preventable car accidents, joining readers in their everyday frustrations. Failing to check mirrors, brake checking other drivers and running red lights are some of the most common causes of fender-benders, but not all of these situations end this way. Although many coast through a traffic light unscathed, the reality is that those chances are much too slim. Complex considers those who drive without checking mirrors to be a threat to all surrounding drivers, and most would likely agree. Even though acts such as door dings and poor parking generally fizzle down to mere annoyances, others can end on a much bleaker note.

The scary part of otherwise benign roadway mistakes is that they can ultimately result in serious injury or death. An article in Slate praised a 2008 study by the University of Michigan that analyzed almost 7,000 car accidents on a scientific level, shedding light on how they occurred. These naturalistic driving studies offer another scope into crash causation by supplying cars with accelerometers, sensors and cameras. Among some of the common causes of dangerous wrecks are rolling stops and loss of control. Slate concludes that, even with self-driving cars right around the corner, practicing safer driving habits now may be the only answer to a tragic issue.