With the number of cars on the road every day, it should be no surprise that car crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States each year. Despite advances in car safety technology, current trends suggest that the grave dangers on American roads will only continue to grow.
Knowing the risks is critical for making your daily transportation decisions.
The average American has a little less than a 1% chance of dying in a car accident. However, factor in a more frequent driving schedule, use of highways, driving at night, or negligent tendencies behind the wheel, and these chances grow substantially. the average person will be involved in some way in three car accidents over the course of their life.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, the Baltimore car accident attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras may be able to help you pursue damages.
We offer complimentary initial case reviews with all potential clients to get you on the right path. To hear more, or to schedule your first appointment today, call us at (410) 694-7291.
Likelihood of a Fatal Car Accident
Based on the number of cars on the road, the amount of time the average person spends on the roadway, and the rate of fatalities caused by car accidents, you are estimated to have a 1 in 107 (or less than a 1% chance) of dying in a car crash during your daily drive.
This number increases substantially, however, if you have a longer commute, spend a considerable amount of time driving at night, or frequently utilize highways to get from one place to another.
Many variables come into play when considering one’s survival rate in a car crash. Gender, age, driving habits, and mental stability are just a few of the factors that have been shown to impact the consequences caused by a collision.
Car accidents rank as the third cause of preventable deaths, behind drug overdoses and slip and falls. it is estimated that there are about 13.5 million car crashes each year. Out of this number, about 3.2 million people need medical assistance because of injuries sustained from the collision. Around 36,000 of these crashes annually result in at least one death.
Factors in the Severity of a Car Accident
The numbers featured above are just the averages across every car accident throughout the country. However, every car accident (and car accident victim) is different. Below are just some of the critical factors that can make a car accident more serious or even life-threatening.
Lack of a Seat Belt
In 2018, 9,648 people died in automobile accidents because of not using a seat belt. Although it cannot be determined whether or not a seat belt would have saved the driver’s life, the number of deaths would likely be lower if seat belts had been used.
The age of a driver may factor into the fatality risk of a car crash. Newer or younger drivers tend to cause more accidents than drivers who have years of experience.
Young drivers have the highest risk for fatal car accidents, but the risk lessens as the driver ages. A driver who is around the ages of 16-22 has a much higher risk of dying in an accident than someone around the age of 65.
Men have a higher chance of dying in a car accident than women. Statistically, men are three times more likely to die in a car accident than women. Studies show that men are involved in more fatal accidents than women each year.
It is important to follow driving laws and to be a calm driver. Driver behavior causes about 95% of car accidents and recognition errors cause about 40% of collisions.
Decision errors also factor into one’s driving habits as they cause about 33% of car crashes. Speeding is another common cause of car accidents. As you increase your speed, your chances of dying in a car accident rise.
About 30% of drivers who were involved in single-car accidents are killed because of drug and alcohol use. 13% of drivers who are killed in multiple car accidents have tested positive for drug and alcohol usage.
Although you may be sober, there is a possibility that drivers around you are not. the majority of car crashes that are caused by intoxicated driving occur on Saturday nights.
Car crashes due to intoxicated driving commonly occur on Friday nights as well.
You may be a great driver, but others around you are not. If you are ever unsure of whether or not you should get behind the wheel after having a few drinks, you most likely should avoid driving and call a taxi or driving service. it is better to be safe than sorry.
Effects of Drunk Driving on the Chances of a Lethal Car Accident
Knowing what the following blood alcohol content (BAC) measurements mean for your motor skills and logic functions should influence whether you decide to get behind the wheel of a car.
- BAC of 0.02: You may experience an alteration in mood and slight body warmth.
- BAC of 0.05: You may experience impaired judgment, exaggerated judgment, and may feel less alert to what is around you.
- BAC of 0.08: Memory, judgment, and speech are impaired. You may experience slurred speech when having conversations. Your reaction time may also be impaired.
- BAC of 0.15: You will lack muscle control, there is a risk for vomiting, and loss of balance.
Those who have a BAC of 0.08 to 0.10 should not get behind the wheel as there will most likely be an inability to maintain lane position and keep the roads safe.
Driving under the influence has been increasing the number of fatalities each year from intoxicated driving is upsetting. If you are on the fence and are having a hard time making a call for whether or not you should drive, it is probably in your best interest to not drive.
If you do not feel comfortable driving due to weather, intoxication, mood, age, and other factors, try to avoid getting behind the wheel. With technology advancing, it is easy to find a driving service to help you get to your desired destination.
How Many Car Accidents Occur Each Year?
According to data collected by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTA) and National Safety Council (NSC), a car accident occurs on American streets and highways once every 60 seconds.
While some data is not available for the most recent years, we know those car accidents accounted for 42,060 deaths in the United States in 2020, with an additional 2.4 million victims suffering serious injuries as a result of car accidents.
These figures represent a staggering increase in the rate of traffic deaths that represents the single largest increase of the last century. This all comes despite a 13% decrease in the estimated number of miles traveled by car from the previous year, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Believe it or not, experts suggest that an explanation for the fatality spike is actually a decrease in traffic. On open roads, many drivers felt more comfortable driving at excessive speeds or under the influence of drugs and alcohol. the CDC suggests that 28 people die every day in the U.S. because of traffic accidents where a driver was alcohol-impaired.
Over the past decade, it has also become more dangerous to walk in the vicinity of cars. Reckless or negligent drivers, particularly those in urban areas, are even more likely to cause the death of pedestrians if their behavior results in an accident.
In 2019 alone, car accidents resulted in 6,205 pedestrian deaths. This danger affects low-income areas almost three times as much as it does high-income areas, which is reflected in the demographics of the victims.
The average driver in the United States will make an automobile claim for damages from collisions about once every 17 years. With this being said, after getting your license at 16, you will most likely be involved in about three car accidents in your lifetime.
Are the Chances of Dying in a Car Crash Getting Lower?
Over time, automobile manufacturers and safety feature specialists have made dramatic strides in the area of collision safety. Generally, the car safety features that are implemented make the driver and passengers in the vehicle safer with the developments of each passing year.
Still, the fatality rate for car crashes in the United States continues to rise. it is just as important that you strongly consider what to drive as it is when deciding how and when to drive.
Some vehicles are now able to assist a driver with parallel parking and backup cameras. Others have self-driving features, such as lane assist warnings and automated slowdowns upon detecting that a crash is imminent. When looking to purchase a vehicle, check to see what features the car has and if it will be beneficial to you.
Certain times and areas are notably more dangerous than others for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Frequent drunk driving periods, such as the day before Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, present a substantially higher risk of a fatal car accident than others. Avoid the roads these days, and always avoid driving while tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Which Cars Are Involved in the Most Crashes?
When looking to purchase a vehicle, many people look into the safety of the car and the reputation of the make. According to a study done in 2009, 10 different vehicle makes were found to be the most common in a car accident.
BMW 4 Series, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, BMW X1, and Audi A5 are a few of the vehicles that are commonly found in accidents in the United States. A few car brands that are involved in the most fatal accidents include Ford, Chevrolet, Jeep, GMC, and Chrysler.
The Ford-F Series is the vehicle most commonly found in the majority of fatal car accidents in Maryland. This vehicle is ranked as the fifth most dangerous car. This determination was made based on the 10,845 deadly crashes that occurred over the last five years while driving a Ford-F Series. This is a serious problem as the Ford-F Series is the best-selling vehicle in the United States.
Legal Options After a Fatal Car Accident
If you recently lost a family member or loved one to a car accident, you may be interested to hear about the legal options at your disposal to pursue recovery from the responsible party. Each state has its own rules about how victims’ families may pursue their claims.
The most common path available is a wrongful death lawsuit. A successful wrongful death lawsuit must prove that the defendant’s negligence or recklessness was the cause of the accident and the death of the victim.
If you win your lawsuit, the court will order the defendant to pay damages to the aggrieved beneficiaries. Each state has its own rules about who can qualify as a beneficiary. Typically, spouses, parents, and children of the deceased will all be able to recover in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Damages available through a wrongful death include funeral or memorial costs, medical costs for the victim’s injuries before they passed, future income expected to be enjoyed by the beneficiaries, loss of companionship, loss of comfort or guidance, and any lost benefits, such as pension plans or healthcare coverage.
Though the grieving process is difficult, you must pursue your legal route for damages within a certain time frame that depends on the jurisdiction in which the accident occurred. it can feel overwhelming to consider the requirements of your legal battle while attempting to grieve.
That is why you should enlist the help of an Ocean City car accident attorney as soon as possible to take the pressure off of your shoulders. Your lawyer can also help you identify all potential beneficiaries, estimate the total damages available, and negotiate potential settlement deals on your behalf.
More Questions About Car Accidents, Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras for Answers
Our Towson car accident attorneys believe that all car accident victims and their families deserve a thorough legal evaluation and consultation about their options. To that end, Rice, Murtha & Psoras can set up a free first session for you to get the facts. To take advantage of this offer, call us today at (410) 694-7291.