Deadly automobile accidents are a tragic daily occurrence across the United States. In 2013 (the latest year complete data is available), 32,719 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The good news is that over the past 10 years, there has been an almost 25% reduction in the number of fatalities on the nation's roadways. 

If you're like most of us, when you see or read about a fatal crash you're left wondering what went wrong. Was someone driving impaired? Did the weather contribute to the mishap? Why did the accident happen at this particular location? Was someone not paying attention or distracted?

Using data from NHTSA's Fatal Accident Reporting System, the Auto Insurance Center has created the following graphics to illustrate the circumstances of each fatal crash occurring between 2009 and 2013 nationwide.

Fatal Crash Causes

Dangerous driving behaviors that cause the most fatal crashes by state 

The map above breaks down the top driver behaviors that led to deadly crashes by state. What caused the highest number of fatal crashes from 2009-2013 across the nation? Failure to stay in the proper lane. Failure to yield to the right of way takes the top spot in six states. Improper turns are a big problem in California.

Sadly, serious collisions are often a result of ordinary mistakes.

Note: "Operating without required equipment" covers infractions such as driving with bad breaks, not using a seatbelt, or riding a motorcycle without a helmet.

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