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Fatal Car Accident Facts that You Should Know!

Automobiles, one of the most important inventions of all-time, allow people to inexpensively and effectively travel greater distances than previous generations ever believed possible. Truly, car travel has revolutionized the world, bringing far away cities and communities into realistic reach, joining friends, family, and business clients across great distances. We cannot say enough about how valuable the automobile is, but, unfortunately, one major side-effect of the ubiquity of drivers is the number of catastrophic and sometimes fatal auto accidents that occur every year, due to a number of factors, including: distracted driving, texting while driving, drunk driving, poor weather conditions, car malfunctions, and more.

Car Accident Statistics

Fatal car accidents are one of the leading preventable causes of death in America, with 32,675 deaths in 2014 alone! Based on latest-year statistics, America currently sits sixth on the list of nations with the most fatal car accidents per year, but fortunately, fatal car crash numbers have been on the decline over the past several decades.

Motor vehicle deaths in the US since 1900

As you can see from the graph above, fatal auto accidents rose sharply after their invention (the Ford Model T was released in 1908 and the auto industry skyrocketed subsequently) all the way through the 1960’s, followed by a steady decline in more recent decades. It is wonderful to know that despite an ever-increasing number of vehicles and motorists on the road, that fatal crashes are still on the decline, due to factors like improved vehicle design, stronger and more lightweight vehicle materials, the introduction of the airbag in passenger cars (starting in the mid-1970’s), stricter laws for motorists, and the invention of the seat belt (1959).

Some other important (and depressing) facts to recognize about deadly car crashes, based on statistics from The Association For Safe International Road Travel:

  • Approximately 2.35 million are injured or disabled in wrecks each year
  • Over 1,600 children under 15 years of age die each year
  • Nearly 8,000 people are killed in crashes involving drivers ages 16-20
  • Crashes cost the U.S. $230.6 billion per year, or an average of $820 per person

In 2000, Motor Vehicle Collisions were the 6th most common

Types of Fatal Car Accident

There are several types of car accident that cause severe injury and death that specifically relate to personal injury law. Let’s take a closer look:

Distracted Driving: According to distraction.org, “In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.” With so many potential distractions facing drivers, it is little wonder why distracted driving-related deaths are so prevalent. In fact, by definition, ALL of the following actions can legally constitute “distracted driving”:

  • Using a cell phone or smartphone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading (including maps)
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

It is your responsibility as a motorist to actively avoid distractions while driving, maintaining your focus on the road ahead of you. If, as a result of a distraction, your driving leads to an accident resulting in the death of another motorist or passenger, you could very likely incur a jail sentence for vehicular manslaughter, as well as being held liable for the financial expenses of the victim(s). Don’t forget, this can all be avoided by keeping your eyes on the road ! Adopt a no screen time driving habit!!! And make and keep that commitment to your family and the community!

Texting While Driving: Technically a subset of distracted driving, texting while driving has become such a deadly scourge on motorists in recent years that it has been deemed significant enough to warrant its own section. Take a look at these statistics collected by the National Safety Council (#1), National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (#3, #5, #6), Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (#4), and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (#2):

  1. Nearly 25% of ALL car accidents (1.3 Million crashes) are a result of texting while driving
  2. Nationally, 11 teens die every day because of texting while driving
  3. Texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to crash
  4. Texting while driving slows your reaction time by 18%
  5. Texting while driving makes you 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk
  6. Texting while driving is equivalent to driving after 4 beers

Drunk Driving: Unfortunately, despite harsh legal penalties for drinking and driving, multi-million dollar advertising campaigns showcasing the dangers of driving drunk, and the work of nonprofit organizations like M.A.D.D., alcohol-related car accidents are still all-too-common today. Before the next time you have a few drinks out with friends and think you can make it home, try to remember the following information collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (#1, #5), Federal Bureau of Investigation (#2, #3),  and Centers For Disease Control (#4):

  1. 10,076 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2013 – 1 every 53 minutes
  2. Each day, people drive drunk almost 300,000 times, but fewer than 4,000 are arrested
  3. Males were more likely than females (15.1% vs. 7.9%) to drive drunk
  4. An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before their first arrest
  5. On average, 1 in 3 people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime

Car Accident Injuries

Driving is an activity that the overwhelming majority of Americans engage in consistently (as of 2011, 86% of individuals over 16 are licensed to drive), and every time you sit behind the wheel you take the risk of experiencing a fatal auto accident through no fault of your own. When this happens to a loved one, you need to speak with a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE HAS DIED IN A CAR OR BIG TRUCK ACCIDENT?

You should meet with an attorney as soon as possible to protect your or your loved ones rights. Most accident attorneys give free consultations. So, it will cost you nothing but time, while you get the indispensable knowledge to best protect yourself!

If you know anyone who has died in a car accident or been in a car accident, we are truly sorry for your loss and/ or injuries; If you believe that their death was a direct result of the negligence of another driver, my law firm is here to help. If you are in need of assistance or want to speak with a lawyer free of charge, please call us at 228.467.0177 or fill out the contact form on our website and we will contact you!

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