With over 250 million registered vehicles on the roads of the US today, it’s no wonder why car accidents are one of the top causes of deaths in America. According to experts, millions of Americans are afraid to fly but the chances of getting injured or dying in a plane crash accident is significantly lower than travelling by road. As of today, 6 million car accidents occur in the roads of US every year. An average of 8% of these accidents result in death. According to the Center for Disease Control, car accidents is the number one cause of death for people ages 5 to 34 and one of the leading causes of death for people of all age groups.
In 2010, auto accident fatalities went down from 33, 808 in 2009 to 32,788 in 2010, and a 25 percent decline from 2005 with 43,510 deaths. While this shows some improvement, there is still cause for concern. According to the Department of Transportation, the leading causes of car accidents are distracted driving, over speeding and drinking and driving. Distracted driving alone accounts for over 28 percent of all fatal accidents in 2010. Over speeding, running red lights, and drinking and driving related cases on the other hand have decreased by 48 percent. Thanks to a nationwide campaign against drinking and driving, the stronger enforcement of the law has made people drive safer today than ever before.
Top Contributors to the Declining Car Accident Death Rate
- Changes in the automotive designs such as impact crumpled zones
- Third generation airbags
- Active sensing system like blind spot monitoring and lane detection
- Strict enforcement of law against drinking and driving and distracted driving
- Nationwide enforcement of seat belt laws
- Restrictive amendment for young drivers
Cost of Motor Vehicle Accidents in the US
Every year the average cost of car accidents in the US is more than $164.2 billion, according to AAA but the NHSA (National Highway Safety Administration) claims that it goes over $230 billion and even higher. 2.3 million People end up in the hospital ER for car related accidents. The majority of these victims suffer from spinal cord injuries and brain injuries, resulting in over $100 billion for medical expenses alone every year. Some of them suffer from permanent disability, which leads to millions of dollars in lost income.
Lead Causes of Accidents in the US
Top 1 – Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents in the United States. 28 percent of all car accidents are caused by driver’s inattention. Distracted driving is when driving becomes subsequent to another activity. Some of these activities include eating, texting, talking on the phone, changing radio stations, talking with passengers, and even applying makeup. Because of this, the government has tightened the law and enforced it a lot strictly than before. In some states, like in Minnesota, send, receiving and reading text messages while driving is a serious violation of the law, which could lead for imprisonment.
Top 2 – Over Speeding
Over 33,808 car accident fatalities were recorded in 2009, 10,591 of all these fatalities involves over speeding. The state of Texas ranks the highest for all over speeding death fatality cases followed by the state of California, while District of Columbia ranks the lowest. Most people involved in an over speeding car almost instantaneously meets death.
Top 3 – Drinking and driving
Over 10, 839 cases of car accidents in 2009 were found to be alcohol related. California is where the highest alcohol related accident death rate was recorded followed by Texas and Florida. Because alcohol can easily impair you’re driving and slow down your eye and body coordination, car accidents can easily occur.