In the United States, motor vehicle accidents kill over 32,000 people and injure over 2 million others every year. These gruesome statistics do not paint a complete picture of the devastating consequences of motor vehicle accidents. The following blog post reviews the data associated with motor vehicle accidents, the legal action you can take to protect yourself after a collision, and how an experienced car accident lawyer can help you fight for your rights after an accident.
Motor Vehicle Accidents: The Numbers You Need to Know
Over 3,300 people die in Florida car accidents each year. That is the equivalent of around 15 deaths for every 100,000 people and 1.6 fatalities for every 100 million miles traveled.
Speeding Accident Statistics
In the United States, speed-related accidents cost Americans over $40 billion every year, killing over 10,000 people and accounting for almost a quarter of all traffic fatalities.
- In one year, speeding caused 31 percent of motorcyclist deaths, 14 percent of light-truck driver deaths, 18 percent of motor vehicle driver deaths, and 7 percent of large-truck driver deaths.
- Aggressive drivers cause over 50 percent of the crashes in the U.S., with speeding being a top contributor.
- Speed was a factor in approximately 31 percent of U.S. teen driver deaths.
General Accident Statistics
Almost two million motorists experience some injury due to a motor vehicle accident every year.
- About 22 percent of crashes that occur every year in the U.S. are weather-related
- Rear-end accidents account for almost one-third of all crashes.
- Tailgating is a factor in more than one-third of all road accidents.
- For fatal semi-truck fatal accidents, the most contributors included speeding (7.6 percent), distracted driving (5.3 percent), driving under the influence (4.7 percent), failing to yield to the right-of-way (4.6 percent), and careless driving (4.4 percent)
- For passenger motor vehicles involved in a fatal accident, the most common contributors included speeding (16.6 percent), driving under the influence (15.1 percent), failure to yield the right-of-way (8.4 percent), careless driving (6.6 percent), and distracted driving (6.3 percent)
Aggressive Driving Accident Statistics
Approximately 66 percent of all traffic deaths result from aggressive driving.
- Younger motorists (aged 19-39) and males were significantly more likely to engage in aggressive driving behaviors.
- Almost half of all the drivers on the receiving end of aggressive driving behavior, such as tailgating or rude gestures, responded with aggressive behavior.
- About two percent of motorists tried to run an aggressor off the road at least once, 0.7 percent of drivers admitted regularly blocking other cars from changing lanes, and 0.1 percent of motorists admitted regularly ramming other vehicles.
Distracted Driving Accident Statistics
Each year, distracted driving causes over 3,000 fatalities, an estimated 424,000 injuries, and 15 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic accidents on the nation’s roads.
However, these consequences do not end there. In addition:
- Dialing a number on the cell phone while driving increases a teen’s risk of crashing by six times, and texting while driving increases crash risk by twenty-three times
- Reading or writing while driving increases the risk of crashing by ten times.
- Driving while crying increases the risk of an accident by ten times.
Impaired Driving Accident Statistics
In the United States, drunk drivers with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent g/dL or higher cause almost 30 percent of fatal traffic accidents.
In addition, studies show that:
- Among drivers killed in crashes driving under the influence of drugs, 4 percent tested positive for opioids and marijuana, 16 percent for opioids, 38 percent for marijuana only, and 42 percent for other drugs.
- The percentage of traffic fatalities in which one motorist tested positive for drugs has nearly doubled over the last ten years.
- Marijuana is the second most common drug involved in impaired driving accidents, after alcohol.
Top Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car crashes can occur for several reasons. Some top causes of car accidents include:
Distracted driving is a dangerous activity that claims over 3,000 lives every year. Distracted driving refers to any activity that diverts attention from driving, like texting or talking on the phone, chatting with others in the car, playing with the radio, checking the navigation system, or eating and drinking. Even a glance away from the road can result in devastating accidents.
Fatigued driving happens when a motorist does not get quality sleep or does not get enough sleep at night. This lack of sleep can impair the driver’s driving abilities. The symptoms of sleep deprivation are similar to alcohol impairment.
When individuals drive while tired, it can lead them to:
- React more slowly to other drivers, pedestrians, and changing road conditions
- Make bad decisions on the roads
- Drift into other lanes
- Nod off
- Forget the last few miles that they drove
Driving Under the Influence
Every day, approximately 28 people in the United States pass away because of a drunk driving crash. That is over 10,000 people every year. Driving after drinking alcohol reduces brain function, impairs reasoning, and slows muscle coordination and thinking skills. All these abilities are critical to operating a motor vehicle safely.
Poor weather, ice on the road, or poor vehicle maintenance can also cause car crashes. Regardless of how your accident happened, if another person injured you in a car accident, reach out to a car accident lawyer. A legal professional can review the facts of your accident, determine if you have a valid legal case, and help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Protecting Yourself and Your Rights Following a Motor Vehicle Accident
After a motor vehicle accident, finding witnesses or gathering photos from the crash scene may be too difficult for you to do on your own. Carefully choose which actions to take after a car crash to protect your health, safety, and legal rights. Here are some tips on what to do after a car accident:
Contact the Authorities
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates over ten million accidents go unreported each year. However, calling 911 following an accident is the fastest way to alert the police and emergency medical personnel of the accident and your injuries. It is also the quickest way to create a record of your accident. After the police investigate the accident, they draft a police report. Your lawyer can use this report to help your legal claim.
If you are not too injured and can safely do so, try to gather as much evidence as possible.
Take photos and videos of:
- Your injuries
- The vehicles involved in the crash
- The vehicles’ locations on the road
- Skid marks on the street or road defects
- Weather conditions at the time of the collision
- Traffic signs and signals near the area
- Any other evidence that can help show what happened
In addition, if there were people present at the scene, try to get their personal information. Witnesses can often provide your lawyer with details about what happened and offer testimony to bolster your legal claim.
Get Driver Information
If possible, try to exchange information with the other drivers involved in the collision, including names, contact details, insurance information, and driver’s license numbers. If the other drivers refuse to give you these details, do not try to force them. Instead, leave this information gathering to the police. After the authorities get this information, your lawyer can get these details from the police report.
However, if you exchange information with others, watch what you say. Do not apologize or take the blame for anything that happened because doing so could hurt your legal case.
See a Medical Professional
While your injuries may appear to be minor following a car crash, you should still get to a doctor as soon as you can. Severe injuries such as internal bleeding and traumatic brain injuries can take days to manifest, but the longer you wait to get treatment, the more debilitating your injuries can become. Visit a medical professional right away.
Receiving medical treatment can also help your case. If you do not receive prompt medical attention, the insurance company will likely argue that your injuries are not severe or result from a subsequent event. If you seek treatment right after your collision, your doctor can provide you with a medical report explaining your injuries and linking them to the car wreck.
Get the Legal Help You Need Following a Motor Vehicle Accident
If another person injured you in a car accident, you have already been through enough pain and stress. Do not take on a legal fight by yourself to get the money you need. Instead, hire an experienced car accident lawyer. With your lawyer on your side, you will not have to take on the legal battle alone.
To make your life easier, a lawyer will:
- Determine whether you have a viable claim and outline your legal options
- Analyze your accident and obtain the evidence needed to show what happened, who was at fault, and the extent of your losses
- Review your concerns and provide you with the answers you need
- Hire expert witnesses to help your case, including economists, engineers, or medical professionals if necessary
- Handle settlement negotiations
- Take your case to trial if the other side refuses to make a fair settlement offer
If another person negligently injured you in one of the millions of car accidents that happen every year in the United States, contact an experienced car accident lawyer. During a free case evaluation, the lawyer can explain your options and how to start seeking the compensation you need for your injuries.