Thank you to Alcock & Associates P.C. for the infographic.
The United States of America is one of the busiest countries when it comes to vehicle traffic. There are currently over 273 million registered vehicles. Sadly, the high number of cars is among the leading reasons for the high fatalities, injuries, and damages caused by accidents on the roads.
Essential Facts on Car Accidents that you should Know
- There are more than 225 million persons registered as licensed drivers in the united states of America. Out of the total number, 115 million are female, while 112 million are men.
- Even though there are more men than women on the roads, more than 80% of accidents involve male drivers. This is one of the reasons why car insurance is cheaper for women compared to men.
- Men drive 30% more miles compared to women every year.
- Every year, more than 37,000 people die in car accidents. This number comprises over 1,600 children under the age of 15 and over 8000 teenagers between the age of 16 and 20. Over 2.5 million people end up injured or disabled.
- Generally, road crashes result in 6% fatality, 27% non-fatality cases, and 72% of the accidents often lead to property damage.
- Of all the number of accidents, passenger car crashes are recorded the most with 40% of the cases, while light-truck crashes follow at 38%.
It is also important to note that 52% of road accidents happened within a radius of 5 miles of a person’s home, while 77% occur within a range of 15 miles.
Weekends record the highest number of road accidents even though the traffic is lower. The highest road accident cases in a week are recorded on Saturdays, while Monday records the least.
Causes and Ways to Prevent Road Accidents
1. Drunk Driving
Driving while under the influence of alcohol is the leading cause of road accidents in the US. It accounts for about 32% of all road accidents. Although drunk driving is the most common cause, other drugs such as marijuana and heroin are contributing factors in DUI cases.
The saddest thing about driving under the influence is that it leads to the death of one person every fifty minutes in the US. This a total of over 26 deaths every single day. Surprisingly, of the 112 million reported drunk drivers, only 1.4 million ever get arrested for DUI, which shows a serious laxity by law enforcers.
The solution to this problem is for drivers to avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol. Although this can be hard for everyone to follow, the government should ensure that those caught violating the rule are charged and prosecuted for the same.
You would be wrong to think that over-speeding is something enjoyed by excited teens only. 31% of all road accidents are caused by overspeeding, making overspeeding the second leading cause of road accidents in the states.
Surprisingly, some of the reasons for overspeeding can be avoided if people learn to organize themselves better. If you want to get to work early, wake up early, so you don’t have to over speed.
Even when you think you have a legit reason to over speed, it is never worth it if it is going to put your life in danger and the lives of other road users as well.
Distracted driving has always been one of the leading causes of road accidents in the united states, accounting for about 16% of all accidents. However, things have become worse with the proliferation of gadgets such as smartphone devices. Nowadays, it is common to find someone texting while driving or even fixing their make up. But all it takes is a split of a second, and the next thing you know is life has been lost, or someone’s physical condition has been damaged forever.
Distracted driving causes more than nine deaths every single day, on American roads. Distraction occurs in three common types:
- Visual distraction – where the driver’s focus is split on the road, and somewhere else.
- Manual distraction – which comes about when the driver is involved in reaching for items in the car e.g., the phone while driving.
- Cognitive distraction – occurs when the driver’s mind is not on the road, mostly due to stress or some mental problem.
It is important to note that other occupants in the vehicle can also distract the driver while he/she is driving.
Did you know?
- It takes an average of five seconds to reply to a text message, which is more than enough time for a car traveling at 55mph to cover the length of a football pitch. The best thing to do is to ensure that your phone is off or away from you. This way, you will not be distracted by the notification pop-ups or calls.
4. Bad Weather
No one has control over the weather condition. Nonetheless, it is still one of the leading causes of road accidents, with about 11% of all accidents resulting from adverse weather such as heavy rainfall. Weather conditions such as rainfall can significantly change the road’s condition by making it slippery and cause less/reduced visibility. If you cannot postpone your drive and wait for the rain to subside, ensure that you drive at a slow speed while taking extreme caution.
How can you stay safe while driving?
To protect yourself while on the road, ensure that you use the safety features in your car like the seat belt, reverse sensors, and back-up cameras. Also, strictly adhere to the traffic signs, even when there seems to be no need to do so.
You should also hold the government and the industry accountable for all policies and measures that are placed to protect road users.
Did you know?
- Even though vehicles are fit with airbags for protection, it has been proven that the frontal airbags can cause fatal injuries if an individual is sitting too close to the steering wheel or the dashboard.
Only one vehicle in thirty one has enough deadlights, which also contributes to more road accidents.
Young drivers and road accidents
There is a certain excitement that fills young drivers when they acquire their driving licenses for the first time. This has often lead to a high number of teen accidents in the US. The leading cause of crash deaths among young people often involves motor vehicles and is greatly caused by the inexperience that these young drivers have.
The high number of teen fatalities is what led to the adoption of graduated drivers licensing by many states, which has led to a decrease in the rate of teen accidents.
Five danger zones for teen drivers
- Driving with other teen passengers. Young people may tend to push/psyche each to try out crazy stunts while driving, which causes many accidents
- Nighttime driving. Because many teens do not have driving licenses, they tend to sneak out during the night when they believe no one is watching the roads. Even though roads are less busy during the night, darkness makes it unsafe to drive
- Failure to use seatbelts while driving
- Distracted driving – sending texts and attending to phone calls. Recently, videotaping while driving for the gram and other video sharing platforms has also become a major cause of distraction
- Impaired driving, i.e., while listening to loud music
What role can parents play in ensuring that young drivers are safe on the road?
It is the moral responsibility of every parent to ensure that their son or daughter practices safe driving, even when the parent is not around. Otherwise, these young drivers will grow up into careless drivers, which will make our roads even more dangerous.
Important tips that can help parents
- Sign a written agreement with your teen on how they should behave while they are behind the wheel. In the agreement, stipulate for clear measures that they should follow, and make it clear that should they breach the agreement, their access to a car shall be revoked. Sometimes it needs a little bit of seriousness to get the teen drivers to behave accordingly while on the road.
- Spend some time with your teen as they drive. Doing so helps you to teach them more skills on how to become better and responsible drivers. You can identify the mistakes they make as inexperienced drivers and correct them.
As of 2017, there were more than 44 million registered drivers aged 65 and above in the united states. Compared to 1999, this is a 63% increase. It is known that driving is one of the ways through which older people keep themselves active. But it also increases their risk of being injured or killed. The numbers show that about 20 adults aged over 65 die every day in road crashes, while 794 are injured.
Elderly drivers can stay safe while on the road by:
- Always suing the seat belts
- Only driving in safe weather conditions
- Exercising more often to increase body flexibility and strength which is essential in navigating the vehicle for extended periods
- Reviewing their drugs to ensure that no medication has side effects that can impair them while driving
Child passenger safety
In the united states, road accidents are a leading cause of death among children. Between 2010 and 2014, about 18,000 kids had been involved in fatal road accidents. In all these cases involving child passengers, it was established that 43% of them were unstrapped, while 13% were seated in the front seat.
In 2017 alone, 675 children died in road crashes, while more than 116,000 were injured.
Here are some of the common mistakes that parents make when putting their children in a car seat:
- Not strapping the child properly
- Parents failed to install the child’s seat properly
- Wrong positioning of the child on the seat
All of the above mistakes can lead to serious injury on the baby, even if the vehicle slightly hits another car. As a parent, you should ensure that the child is strapped correctly and that their seat is correctly installed on the car seat.
Shared Space and How it Can help reduce road accidents
The shared space concept is a radically unique traffic design concept that calls for removing all road regulations to lower the number of road accidents. This concept is widely developed in countries like Germany, Sweden, Holland, France, and Spain.
Research has established that though the concept is meant to improve road usage, 63% of the American population still feel that it is a bad idea and gives a poor driving experience. On the other hand, 18% believe that it makes the driving experience better, while 19% find it fairly okay.
The dissatisfaction is caused by the fact that shared space has led to forced slow driving, while most drivers enjoy driving at high speeds. Pedestrians also felt safer with the traffic signs and not on roads that have adopted the shared space concept.
Are autonomous cars a solution to road accidents in America?
Currently, there is already a high number of cars on the road that use driver assistance technology, which has helped to reduce the number of road accidents.
However, companies like google believe that autonomous cars – those that can self-drive – are the solution to road accidents. They are expected to be safer as they won’t get drunk, Overspeed, recklessly drive themselves, mistakes that people make all the time.
Currently, it is believed that over 90% of accidents are caused by reckless driving. If an alternative is found, then the number of road accidents will reduce drastically, saving very many lives.
Final Take away
Road accidents can have devastating impacts on victims. For those that survive death, the injuries can greatly affect their quality of life. If you are involved in a car accident, and the mistake was not yours, you have a right to compensation for injuries sustained. It may be a bit complicated for you to seek compensation on your own, and that’s why you need legal help. Contact me today should you be involved in any road accident, big or small, and I will handle the matter for you.