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7 Facts You Should Know About Car Accidents

Car accidents can often be avoided if you make smart decisions and know the statistics. Here’s what everyone needs to know about roadway crashes.

1. There are 6 million car accidents each year.

This comes from an infographic compiled by Driver Knowledge, making it clear accidents are more common than you might think. It’s naïve to think that you won’t experience a wreck at some point in your life, so take precautions and drive defensively.

2. About 3 million people are injured in car accidents every year.

“The different injuries resulting from a car accident can be as varied as the individual circumstances of each collision, but there are some types of injuries that are more common than others,” says David Landers of Nolo. He points out several of the most common injuries:

  • Whiplash
  • Scrapes and cuts
  • Concussion
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Chest injuries, including bruises and broken ribs
  • Arm and leg injuries, including broken bones and sprains
  • Back injuries, including herniated disks or fractured vertebrae

A common, but often undiscussed injury stems from psychological trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common among those who have experienced a severe car accident with symptoms including depression, anxiety, and other serious mental health issues.

3. Injuries don’t always show up right away.

Many who are injured in a car accident don’t realize the extent of their injuries until after the accident. Sometimes it takes a few hours or days for serious injuries to surface.

Other injuries have lasting impacts that you can’t always see from the beginning. According to the Driver Knowledge infographic, more than two million car accident victims each year experience permanent injuries from their accident.
What you do following the accident can make all the difference.

“Unfortunately, the stress of the situation can lead to poor decision making, and many people discover years down the road that the injuries they suffered in their car accident are still plaguing their daily life,” says an article from the attorneys at KRW Law Firm in San Antonio. “Don’t let this happen to you… If you’ve been the victim of a collision as a driver, passenger, cyclist, or pedestrian, contact an experienced car accident attorney.”

4. Distracted driving is the most common reason for car accidents.

The statistics regarding distracted driving are shocking as well:

  • Each day, nine people in the United States die from distracted driving car crashes.
  • One in three people text while driving; drivers are 23 times more likely to crash while texting and driving.
  • Daily, more than 1000 people are injured in crashes involving distracted driving.
  • It takes less than five seconds to send a text, which is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field at 55 mph.
  • One in five crashes is the result of distracted driving.
5. Car accidents are more common among teenagers.

Teenagers’ “judgment and decision making skills have not fully developed yet,” assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, Jonathan Ehsani, told Today. He also points out the lack of experience of teenage drivers, which contributes to their inability to handle difficult roadway situations.

Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that when compared with drivers 18 and older, drivers aged 16-17 are 3.9 percent as likely to be in a crash and 2.6 times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash.

They are also 4.5 times as likely to be involved in a crash than those aged 30-59 and 3.2 times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash when compared to the same age group.

“What we know about teens is that they are not only a danger to themselves, but also to other people on the road,” Jennifer Ryan, a spokesperson for the AAA also told Today. “The vast majority of people that are injured and killed when a teen driver is behind the wheel is someone other than the teen.”

6. More than 90 people die in road accidents daily.

This statistic makes driving one of the most dangerous forms of transportation. The cause for human error is great, but if you drive defensively and keep the dangers in mind, you’re less likely to be involved in an accident.

Drunk driving is the leading cause of fatal accidents, so drinking responsibly is a great place to start.

7. Seat belts reduce the risk of seatbelt deaths by 45 percent.

Despite this shocking statistic, one in seven people do not wear seatbelts while in the car. Additionally, those who choose not to wear a seatbelt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from the vehicle during a wreck.

Wearing your seatbelt and teaching your kids to do the same could literally save your life.