Most drivers will experience a car crash at some point in their lives. Motor vehicle accidents occur every day all over the country, sometimes when a driver least expects it. These collisions can vary from minor fender-benders to devastating accidents.
Though some car accidents are unavoidable, the reality is that safe driving practices may mitigate many of the risks for getting into a motor vehicle accident. By staying aware of your surroundings and driving defensively, it is possible to reduce the chances of a crash. How likely you are to get into a car accident will depend on a variety of factors, including the steps you take to protect yourself.
Chances of Experiencing a Car Accident
According to a 2011 article published by Fox Business, the average motorist will file an insurance claim for a motor vehicle accident once every 17.9 years. Based on this figures alone, it is likely that most drivers will be involved in at least one accident. However, not every vehicle collision results in an insurance claim. Some drivers lack insurance entirely, and with some minor accidents, drivers may decide to ignore the damage or pay out of pocket for repairs and avoid filing a claim. With that in mind, accidents likely occur more frequently than every 17.9 years.
It is worth noting that the risk of being involved in a car accident also varies from one driver to another. The more miles a person drives each year, the more likely they may be in a crash due to sheer time on the road alone. According to 2016 statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), accidents that result in fatalities are more common during the day in rural areas, but more common during the night in urban areas. Other factors like a driver’s age and whether or not they are intoxicated can also increase the odds.
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Frequency of Fatal Crashes
Many car accidents that occur in the United States result in some form of bodily injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that more than two million Americans sustain injuries in motor vehicle crashes each year.
Despite the frequency of these accidents, the vast majority of drivers involved usually survive the ordeal. However, fatal accidents are still common. According to the CDC, there were more than 32,000 traffic-related fatalities in the United States in 2013. The CDC also found that many of these fatalities were potentially avoidable through the use of seat belts, appropriate child restraints, and not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Common Causes of Vehicle Collisions
No two car accidents are exactly alike. Every crash involves a number of factors related to the individual drivers, weather conditions, other motorists, the conditions of the roadway, and more. These factors may increase or decrease the odds of a crash significantly. Some common causes of motor vehicle accidents include:
- Weather: wet roads and severe weather conditions frequently lead to motor vehicle collisions. Heavy rain or snow can obscure a driver’s vision and cause vehicles to skid off of the road. Wet roads increase the amount of space a driver needs to come to a complete stop, which potentially increases the odds of a rear-end collision.
- Driving under the influence: consumption of drugs or alcohol typically reduces the reaction time of a motorist. It also impairs his or her decision-making abilities, which can combine to increase the likelihood of a crash.
- Driver error: driver error plays a potentially large part in motor vehicle accidents. Whether they be driving too fast for the current road conditions or traveling the wrong way down a street, these mistakes are a sizable factor in vehicle accidents.
- Distracted driving: as technology grows more ubiquitous, the frequency of distracted driving grows with it. Motorists that check their email, read text messages, or watch streaming video behind the wheel are more likely to cause an accident.
- Speeding: traveling at high speed is another common factor in car accidents. Speeding drivers may lose control of their vehicles and have less time to avoid a collision.
You May Be Entitled to Compensation Following a Car Accident
Before you get behind the wheel, it is important to understand how likely it is to get in a car accident. That said, knowledge and preparation can only go so far when it comes to avoiding vehicle collisions. The reality for most drivers is that an accident can happen to anyone at any time.
If you sustained injuries in a car accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation. The team from Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi P.C. can evaluate your claim and advise you of your potential legal options.