There are about 225 million licensed drivers in the United States these days. Texas just happens to be home to more than 17 million of them. While many drivers get through their daily commutes and errands without incident, motor vehicle accidents are one of the top causes of death in the United States every year among otherwise healthy adults.
Ultimately, assuming that figures will stay relatively unchanged from the past few years, you can expect around 40,000 fatal car accidents to occur in 2020. However, that’s only the start of the damage. Another two million victims end up with permanent injuries from mostly avoidable wrecks.
What Are Your Chances of Being in a Car Wreck?
Here is a rough breakdown of who is getting hurt in car accidents these days, and why:
● Even though female drivers now slightly outnumber male drivers in the United States, 80% of car accidents will involve male drivers. Men do drive about 30% more miles than women, but that does not fully account for the disparity.
● If you are under 19 years of age or over 65, you are more likely to be in a wreck. Around 12.2% of car accidents are attributed to teen drivers, while seniors are responsible for another 7.5%. In both cases, issues with attentiveness and skill may be coming into play.
● Nationally, passenger cars are involved in 36% of all fatal wrecks, while light trucks (like pickups and SUVs) are involved in another 26%. Pedestrians fall victim 17% of the time, while motorcyclists represent 14% of deaths. Large truck accidents are only involved in 2% of fatal wrecks, likely because drivers are increasingly regulated.
● Driving close to home is statistically more dangerous than a long car trip. A whopping 52% of auto wrecks happen within five miles of a driver’s home — and 77% are within 15 miles of a victim’s home. However, that makes sense simply because people tend to run errands and work close to home.
● Your risk of a car crash rises sharply on the weekend — starting on Friday and continuing through Sunday — even though there’s a lot more traffic during the week. This may be due to the fact that drivers are more conscious of the risks they’re facing when there is a lot of congestion on the road, and people tend to drink and drive more frequently on weekends.
What is Causing So Many Fatalities on the Road?
The major causes of fatal collisions can be broken down to just three main issues:
● Drunk driving
● Distracted driving
The truly sad thing about this is that all three of these problems are utterly preventable. For example, it is generally accepted that the advent of the smartphone has made distracted driving more common. At this point, roughly one out of every four car accidents has something to do with a driver’s phone, and drivers in 2018 were about 57% more likely to risk using their phone behind the wheel than they were just four years earlier.
Speeding has been one of the top causes of fatalities for at least 20 years — yet 42% of drivers admit that they do not even consider themselves to be actually speeding when they are 10 miles over the speed limit. Even scarier, another 10% of drivers say that 20 miles over the speed limit is fine!
Drunk driving also continues to be a problem in the United States, despite all of the information campaigns and the laws designed to discourage it. Every day, drunk driving crashes claim the lives of another 29 people out there on the roads — even though it is increasingly easy to get a safe ride home thanks to services like Uber and Lyft.
What Can You Do If Your Loved One Is Hurt or Killed in a Crash?
Ultimately, all of these figures tell you one thing: that serious and fatal car accidents are still far too common today — even though the majority of them are preventable. Human beings are, unfortunately, inclined to push limits, take chances and make bad choices.
If a loved one is killed in a motor vehicle accident or you’re hurt in a wreck, you have every right to seek compensation for your losses. Contact Burress Injury Law at 214-726-0016 for a free consultation to discuss your case. We take your battle for justice from the insurance companies personally.