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Road transport is by far the most used means of transportation in the U.S. and other parts of the world. Sadly, it is also the medium that records the highest number of accidents. The United States of America is one of the busiest countries in regards to traffic. As of 2015, there were more than 264 million vehicles registered, and one can only imagine how large that number has grown over the years.
Before going into more details on car accidents in the U.S., here are some basic statistics on car accidents in the U.S.
More than 80% of all the accidents involve male drivers, and men are known to drive 30% more miles in a year. That is why it is cheaper for women in the U.S. to get car insurance compared to men. This is probably why there are more female drivers.
Annual road crash statistics for the U.S.
Each year, more than 37,000 US citizens lose their lives through car accidents. Out of the 37,000, 1,600 deaths are for young children under the age of 15 years, while 8000 deaths represent drivers aged between 16 and 20. Imagine losing more than a thousand minds that would have shaped America’s future. Again, accidents leave more than 2.35 million people, either disabled or injured.
What are the effects of car accidents?
Increased traffic jams
Cities like new york are known to experience terrible traffic, and car accidents do not make it any better. With passenger cars accounting for up to 40% of the car crashes, and light trucks accounting for 38%, it slows down traffic so much before the scene is cleared. These car accidents end up costing the U.S. government $230.6 billion every year.
Damage of property
Of all the accidents that occur on U.S. roads, 72% of them only lead to property damage. This means that no car occupant is injured in the process, but only the car is damaged. Regardless, it is still important to get compensation for the damage caused in your car, and having a good car accident lawyer by your side will help with that.
Another 27% of car accidents lead to injuries, but no lives are lost in the process. Most people escape with minor injuries, but some suffer serious injuries. Some of the common injuries that are recorded include broken bones, whiplash, dislocated joints, and in serious accidents, victims may suffer spinal problems and tear muscle tissues.
One thing that makes it possible to save the lives of those involved in a car accident is getting quick medical intervention. Though, at times car accident victims die on their way to the hospitals, the number is reduced by having paramedics arrive at the accident spot quickly. Additionally, safety measures like wearing seat safety-belts, and airbags also help to reduce the number of fatalities in car accidents.
Sadly, 6% of the car accidents that occur in the U.S. lead to loss of lives. Some victims die immediately upon impact while others lose their lives either when heading to hospitals or when receiving treatment. Even in cases where all car occupants have lost their lives, it is essential to point out that the relatives can get compensation for the wrongful deaths of their loved ones.
Causes of car accidents and how they can be prevented
It is essential to point out that in more than 90% of the car accidents in the U.S., human error is said to play a role. However, the causes of accidents on U.S. roads are many, and some have been discussed below.
It accounts for the largest number of car accidents, with around 29 deaths resulting from it every day. When under the influence of alcohol, the vision of the driver and their reflex abilities are greatly affected. This makes it difficult for them to halt when supposed to or make sudden maneuvers to avoid getting into accidents. Alcohol also brings about drowsiness in the driver, and this is very dangerous.
This is the number two cause of accidents in the U.S., accounting for 31% of the accidents. It is important to note that at high speeds, it is difficult even to make turns, and when maneuvering at sharp corners, the car can easily roll. In most cases, driver aggression causes them to overspeed, but other drivers overspeed when they are late, or when they are rushing to attend to an emergency. Nonetheless, no situation can justify a driver’s carelessness, which puts their lives and those of other road users at risk through over speeding.
You’ve probably seen adverts on T.V. where a driver is slightly distracted by their mobile phone, and in a split of a second, they are hit by an oncoming car. It may not happen so fast in real life, but distractions such as cell phones put your lives at great risk. You are not able to see oncoming cars clearly, and you may fail to yield way, leading to collisions.
It is important to highlight that distractions account for 16% of all the fatal accidents on U.S. roads. That is why it is advisable to avoid distractions, such as mobile phones when driving. Keep your eyes on the road at all times, avoid reaching for items such as water bottles while driving, also keep your emotions in check as they can also distract you while on driving.
11% of fatal road accidents are attributed to poor weather. This is sad, knowing that there is nothing that can be done to control the weather conditions of a place. Heavy rainfall, snow, bolts of lightning, are perfect examples of the conditions that can lead to a car accident.
The best way to avoid fatal accidents during bad weather is to avoid using the roads completely until there is some normalcy on the weather conditions. However, you can also practice safe driving when using slippery roads.
Protecting yourself from injuries in car accidents
Yours and other people’s safety comes first when using the road. To reduce the risk of getting into an accident, consider doing the following:
Always use safety features
No car lacks safety belts, and you should always ensure that you have yours on. It is actually illegal to drive without tightening your safety belt. When making reverse moves, utilize the reverse sensors and cameras to avoid colliding into other cars. Additionally, you should visit a mechanic regularly to service all the safety features so that they do not fail you in an accident.
However, it is important to note that some features like frontal airbags can cause fatal injuries. You can minimize this risk by leaving enough distance between you and the dashboard so that you are not in immediate contact with the airbag when it pops out upon impact.
Respect the traffic signs
Always be cautious of the traffic lights. Do not move unless the sign indicates that it is safe to move. Also, when driving in traffic, there is no need for you to be aggressive.
Hold the government accountable
Sometimes misinformed decisions made by the government on the transport industry contribute to the increased car accidents. Failure to allocate more funds to improve roads maintain traffic equipment are some of the decisions that cause more accidents on the road. Therefore, it is your duty as a U.S. citizen to insist on informed decision-making by the government.
Young drivers and car accidents in the U.S.
In most states across the U.S., at 16 years, one is allowed to drive. This is a moment that most teens eagerly wait for, but it has proven to be dangerous. In 2016 alone, 2400 teenagers lost their lives while behind the wheel. Additionally, statistics have shown that car collisions are one of the leading causes of death for the youth in the united states of America and that teenagers cause more deaths compared to adults.
One thing that puts so many youths at risk of losing their lives when driving is inexperience and immaturity. Your teenager wants to drive so fast to impress other people or satisfy their ego. They get distracted easily when driving with friends in the car.
As a parent, you should take it upon yourself to guide your teenage child on safe driving until they are fully ready. The following are some tips that should help you to guide your child during their first years of driving.
Create rules on how they should drive
It is highly likely that your teen child will be driving your car or one that you’ve bought for him or her. You therefore have the right to give them guidelines on how they should use the car. If they violate any of the rules, do not hesitate to take the car until they learn to behave behind the wheel. This may seem like tough love, but it will help protect your child from immature behaviors while driving that could cost them their lives.
Drive with them once a week
Experience is learned, and you can help your child gain it by driving with them for some time once a week. Watching them drive can help you identify some mistakes that they are making, and you will be able to correct them early enough. It also gives you time to train them on vital driving skills that can come in handy in some situations.
Educate your teen on road safety measures
Sometimes all you need to do is to remind your teen of the important safety measures as not driving while drunk, watching speed limits, etc. Make it known to them that it is illegal for them to drive drink and drive if they are under 21 years. Only those above 21 years are allowed to drive with an alcohol concentration of less than .08 limit.
Learn to drive yourself safely
Your child looks to you. Therefore, if you want them also to become good rivers, you should practice safe driving. This way, they will only be adopting good driving skills. On the other hand, if you carelessly drive while your child is watching, you impart bad behavior in them, which may cost them their life.
Elderly drivers and accidents in the U.S.
Not only young people are at high risk of getting involved in car accidents, the elderly too. Around 20 adults lose their lives every day through car accidents, and 794 others are injured. In most cases, elderly drivers suffer from poor cognitive abilities, which increases their chances of getting into accidents. As an elderly driver, keep safe by:
- Always use the seat belt. This protects you from moving in an accident that causes serious injuries.
- Do not drive in bad weather. If it is heavily raining, give it time to subside before heading out. It is better to be late than never to arrive.
- Exercise regularly. This will help you to stay in shape and flexible enough to drive your car without any limitations.
- Watch the medicines that you take. If you have any medical condition that requires you to use drugs, ensure that the medicines have no effects on your vision and state of mind. If you find that some medicines affect your cognitive abilities, ask someone to drive you instead of doing it yourself.
Parenting while driving
Aside from young drivers and the elderly, small children also face great risks when riding with their parents. It is important to note that between 2010 and 2014, more than eighteen thousand young children had been involved in car accidents. 13% of the kids were at the front seat, and 43% were had not been restrained.
As a parent, it is your duty to ensure that:
- You have properly restrained your kid on their seat before you start driving.
- If there’s space at the back seats, do not put a kid at the front seat. This not only protects them if an accident occurs, but it also protects you from the distraction that they can cause.
Safe driving is something that should be practiced by everyone. Despite the numerous efforts made by the government, automotive companies, and industry stakeholders to reduce the car accidents on U.S. roads, you should also take it upon you to ensure that you are safe and those using the road with you are also safe. You can always take refresher courses to perfect your driving knowledge.
If you or a loved one was injured by a car accident in Charleston, you need to find legal representation right away. The Hartman Law Firm, LLC provides legal assistance for those who have suffered from these injuries. Their legal expertise rivals the best around.
Frank Hartman will fight for fair and reasonable compensation for your injuries.
To get started, call Frank 24/7 at (843) 300-7600. Or, you can contact him online, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The sooner you get Frank on your case, the sooner you’ll get your settlement and start on the road to recovery.