Did you know that car accidents kill more people each year than war and homicide combined? In fact, car accidents kill nearly 1.25 million people worldwide every year, while war and homicide account for almost half a million deaths annually.
Car accidents actually make the CDC’s list of leading causes of death in the U.S. They come in fourth!
It may seem morbid to think about these things, but knowledge is empowering. The more car accident facts you know, the better you’ll be able to keep yourself safe. Read on to learn a few facts you might not know.
1. Why Crashes Happen
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that human error is the reason for 93% of all crashes. Human error can mean a lot of things. It could be as simple as speeding or it could be distracted driving, such as texting or talking on the phone.
Drunk driving, however, is the worst offender, killing 28 people in the U.S. every day.
2. The Type of Crash Matters
Different types of car crashes include rollovers, sideswipes, rear-enders, and head-on collisions. Though you never want to experience any car crash, some are worse than others. Head-on collisions, in particular, are often fatal.
According to Babcock Partners trucking accident lawyers, while head-on collisions account for only around 2% percent of car accidents, they cause 10% of all motor vehicle fatalities.
3. Seat Belts Make the Difference
You’re probably familiar with the phrases “Buckle up or pay up,” and “Click it or ticket.” These are campaigns many states use to encourage the use of passenger safety belts. This is with good reason!
In almost half of all car crash fatalities, the victim was not wearing his or her seatbelt. In 2015 alone, seatbelts saved an estimated 13,941 people. Despite this, almost 10% of Americans are still not buckling up.
4. Car Accidents Happen Close to Home
You are much more likely to be in a car accident close to home than far away on a road trip. Nearly one in three accidents occur within a mile of home! Most fatalities caused by car crashes happen within 25 miles of home.
You might wonder why that is, but it makes sense. Most people do the majority of their driving close to where they live. Being in a familiar territory can also cause people to let their guard down and become distracted.
5. Teens Are More Likely to Crash
Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. Teenagers are four times more likely than older drivers to die or be injured in a crash. Teens also crash more often on weekends than any other time.
There are several reasons teens are at risk.
They lack experience (they’re most likely to crash within their first year of driving), and they tend to underestimate risks and engage in distracted or dangerous behaviors. Teen drivers are also more likely to speed, drive under the influence, and run red lights.
Don’t Let These Car Accident Facts Scare You
While learning about car accident facts can be quite startling, it’s also very illuminating.
The best way to avoid a car crash is to practice safe driving, such as avoiding distractions and maintaining a safe speed. Of course, you should always wear your seatbelt, even if you’re just going down the street.
If you’d like to know what you can do to prepare yourself in case of a crash, check out this handy guide on preparing for the unexpected. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to stay safe on the road!