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In 2017, a total of 6,452,000 car accidents took place on American roads. Of these collisions, 1,889,000 resulted in injuries, and 34,247 resulted in fatalities.
While fatalities caused by extravagant events such as a hurricane or an airplane crash may grab headlines, these stats just goes to show how dangerous driving a vehicle, something we do every day, can be.
Through this article, we’ll look at your chances of getting in a car crash vs. your chances of dying in a car crash. We’ll also examine how the odds of dying in a car crash stack up against other causes of death.
The odds of getting in a car accident
What is the chance of getting into a car accident? According to car insurance companies, the average driver will make an automobile collision claim once every 17.9 years. This means that if you start driving at 16 years of age, you’ll be involved with at least three collisions over your lifetime.
The chances of a car accident occurring are the greatest with teen drivers. The combination of inexperience, high speeds, lack of seat belt use, and the use of alcohol all contribute to higher rates of collisions amongst teens. Young male teenagers aged 16-19 are especially prone to car accidents.
The chances of dying in a car crash
While the chance of a car accident is relatively high, the chances of dying in a car crash are thankfully, comparatively lower.
According to the National Safety Council, the chances of dying from a motor vehicle crash is 1 in 103.
What contributes to these motor vehicle fatalities? The leading factors contributing to car accident fatalities include:
- Poor weather
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Reckless driving
- Failure to yield
Of all the states in the US, Mississippi has the highest number of fatalities per 100,000 population at 23.1. Other states that have high fatality rates include Wyoming, South Carolina, Alabama, New Mexico, and Montana.
Car crash deaths compared to other causes of death
The chances of being in a car crash and dying ranks among the top ten in the National Safety Council list. Five causes that have even higher odds include:
- Heart disease (1 in 6)
- Cancer (1 in 7)
- Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease (1 in 27)
- Suicide (1 in 88)
- Opioid Overdose (1 in 96)
- Motor Vehicle Crash (1 in 103)
It doesn’t come too much of a surprise that health-related conditions rank high in causes of death. Based on the NSC list, here are the top causes of death that are not health-related:
- Suicide (1 in 88)
- Opioid overdose (1 in 96)
- Motor Vehicle Crash (1 in 103)
- Fall (1 in 114)
- Gun Assault (1 in 285)
- Pedestrian Incident (1 in 556)
Of course, generalizations over a segment of the population in America are made when calculating these odds. The odds of a car accident resulting in death are much higher if, for example, you sample only those who are drivers. The chances of dying further increases when you sample only drivers who drive daily.
Most common cause of death from car crashes
Factors that contribute to the cause of death from car crashes vary. The cause of death will depend on the nature of the accident, where the collision occurred, speed of the accident, etc.
Here are some of the most common cause of death from car crashes:
- Speeding: Speeding-related accidents accounted for 26% of all motor vehicle crash deaths in America. Approximately half of those speed-related fatalities occurred on roads with a speed limit of 55 mph and less.
- Seat-belt use: In 2018, there were 9,648 known fatalities where a seat-belt was not in use. We can’t say for sure whether the use of seat-belt would have definitively saved their lives, but it’s more than likely that number would be much lower, had seat-belts been used.
- Head trauma: Upon impact, it’s not uncommon for drivers and passengers to hit their head on the steering wheel, window, or seats. Moreover, a sudden stop literally shakes the brain inside the skull, which can cause severe head trauma leading to death.
- Thorax trauma: Chest trauma is another common cause of death from crashes. Blunt-force injuries to the chest area can be caused by your seat belt, dashboard, and airbag.
Other common car crash injuries
Not all car crashes are fatal. However, injuries can and do occur. Here are some of the most common car crash injuries:
- Broken ribs: Since ribs are relatively fragile, they are susceptible to breaking even with light to moderate impact.
- Soft-tissue injuries: Likely the most common type of injury in a car crash, soft-tissue involves the muscles, ligaments, or tendons. A whip-lash injury is a type of soft-tissue injury to your neck and upper back.
- Arm or leg injuries: Your arms and legs are generally cramped in the car, with little space for movement. A collision can cause your arms and legs to smash into the dashboard or front seat, resulting in bruises, scrapes, sprains, and breaks.
- Post-trauma stress disorder: Not only can your physical health be affected by a car crash, but your mental health may be too.
With millions of drivers on American roads, the odds of being in a car crash at some point in time is relatively high.
The Las Vegas car accident attorney team at Valiente Mott is dedicated to helping personal injury victims recover from car crashes, defective products, catastrophic events, and more.
If you’ve sustained an injury in a collision, contact Valiente Mott today! We offer a free consultation, and you won’t need to pay unless we win your case.
Valiente Mott is a law firm dedicated to helping personal injury victims. We handle all personal injury matters, including, but not limited to, car crashes, defective products, and catastrophic injury. We are compassionate, yet aggressive when protecting personal injury victims and families who lost loved ones in fatal accidents. Learn more about who we are.
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