Since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates about 5.5 million car accidents occur in the United States each year, it should be no surprise that car accidents are the most common reason people file accident injury lawsuits (work injuries are the second most common cause for personal injury lawsuits), learn more car accident facts here. Generally, accident injury attorneys only become involved in the car accident process after a crash has occurred, helping to negotiate fair auto accident injury claims or car accident settlements. But because they deal with the aftermath of such accidents every day, auto accident injury attorneys also wish that people knew more about car accidents and how to prevent these tragic and unnecessary injuries and deaths. Here are seven facts all drivers should be aware of every time they get behind the wheel:
Drivers Don’t Just Need to Look Out for Cars
It’s likely that when you get on the road, most of your attention is on other cars. But according to the World Health Organization, about half of crash victims are other road users who are left vulnerable without the protection of a car: pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
Seat Belts and Car Seats Save Lives — Period
All 50 states have seat belt laws of some kind, but avoiding tickets isn’t the only reason to buckle up. According to the WHO, seat belts reduce the risk of death in a crash by 61%, if used correctly. Children should be in size-appropriate protective restraints as well; mandated use of car seats can reduce child deaths by about 35%.
Speeding Almost Always Inhibits Safety
Auto technology has come a long way since 1904, when the first speeding ticket was issued to a motorist careening along at a shocking 12 miles per hour. But even in the newest cars and the best driving conditions, speeding isn’t safe. Speeding is involved in 40% of all fatal auto accidents in the U.S., and the WHO has found that for every 1 kilometer per hour (that’s about 0.6 mph) reduction in speed, there’s a 2% decrease in number of accidents.
Crashes Are More Likely At Certain Times
Late night/early morning periods on the weekend (between midnight and 3 a.m.) are the most likely times for people to be involved in fatal crashes. Drivers on the road at this time should be extremely vigilant and assume they’re sharing the road with drunk or otherwise impaired drivers.
There’s No Such Thing as Safe Drunk Driving
This one should be obvious, but here’s a statistic to consider if you’ve ever thought about knocking back just one more drink before driving home: Alcohol contributes to almost 40% of fatal car accidents.
Distracted Driving Is Impaired Driving
Lest anyone feel self-righteous about never driving while chemically impaired, it should also be noted that distracted driving is incredibly dangerous. Talking on your cell phone while driving makes you four times as likely to be involved in an accident.
You Need to Stay Vigilant Close to Home
It’s important that you not drop your guard just because you’re in familiar territory. Most car accidents happen within three miles of the driver’s house.
Have you ever worked with auto accident injury attorneys? Share what you’d like more drivers to know in the comments.