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How Many Car Crashes a Year?

You're not alone if you've been affected by a car crash. Every year in the United States, tens of thousands of people die, and about 2.35 million are injured in motor vehicle accidents. The frequency rate is alarming, so much so that the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has unveiled a National Roadway Safety Strategy funded by the Biden Administration's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to combat the crisis.

In 2021, our country saw a 10.5% increase in roadway fatalities over 2020. If your family lost a loved one in a car crash, or someone sustained serious injuries, a Morgan and Morgan car accident lawyer may be able to provide you with crucial legal guidance to recover the maximum compensation possible. You and your family deserve financial restoration for your emotional and economic losses. We can help. Let's take a look at how car crashes can be prevented, the circumstances that lead to collisions, and what legal recourse you can take.

Car Crash Fatality Statistics for 2020 and 2021

While motor vehicle safety technology advances every year, some factors continue to drive car wreck injuries and fatalities skyward. Driver error is a leading cause, but in some instances, faulty vehicle components are the origin of catastrophic failure leading to tragic consequences. Here are some car crash statistics for the past few years:

  • In 2021, an estimated 42,915 people lost their lives in car crashes.
  • In 2020, about 4.8 million individuals were seriously injured due to a car wreck.
  • The cost associated with car crashes in 2020 was $474 billion.
  • In 2020, the average economic loss for fatal car accidents was $1,750,000 (statistic includes lost income, medical costs, administrative costs, motor vehicle damage, and uninsured costs.)
  • 2020 crash fatality percentages were 62% passenger motor vehicle occupants, 17% pedestrians, 14% motorcyclists, 2% bicyclists, and 2% large truck occupants.
  • Car crash fatalities by the rate of 100,000 miles driven rose 21% from 2019 to 2020, which was the most significant annual increase since record reporting began in 1975.
  • July 4th is the deadliest day on U.S. roadways.
  • Ejection from vehicles resulted in 23% of fatalities.
  • 2,564 people were killed in 2020 due to hit-and-run accidents.
  • Every state but six reported an increase in traffic fatalities from 2020 to 2021.
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FAQ

Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • What Are the Top Causes of Car Crashes Each Year?

    Most accidents are caused by poor decisions people make when behind the wheel. In fact, 94% of motor vehicle accidents are due to human error. Many of us are guilty of making the same decisions that, for some, result in disaster. Suppose an individual persists in ignoring safety and using common sense precautions. In that case, it's just a matter of time before they cause an accident, making them liable to pay for damages. Here are the top causes of car crashes year after year:

    Distracted driving - This problem consistently ranks among the top reasons for car crashes. Staying focused on the road should be a number one priority for drivers. However, many people like to think they're somehow different from everyone else and can focus on multiple things simultaneously. Texting or talking with a hand-held device has caused most states to outlaw the behavior when driving. Still, other distractions, such as searching through computer bags, eating, or even tending to children, can cause an accident in an instant. People don't realize how far they can travel while distracted by something such as an email alert on their phones. By the time they look up, they could be almost on top of another vehicle or miss seeing a pedestrian starting out in a crosswalk.

    Impaired driving - Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (even some prescription drugs) can affect your ability to make sound decisions and reduces how quickly you react to hazards. Drunk driving, in particular, is responsible for 29 people losing their lives each day. Suppose someone harms someone else while driving impaired. In that case, the responsibility for paying damages is almost certainly to rest squarely on their shoulders. A Morgan and Morgan car accident lawyer can help hold those responsible for such accidents accountable.

    Speeding - Speed limits are put in place because there may be unseen hazards ahead, such as a sharp curve or a crosswalk, and to lessen the possibility of drivers losing control of their vehicles. People speed for all kinds of reasons, like being late, being frustrated, or they have the mindset that they are better drivers than everyone else. Speeding can impact the outcome of an insurance settlement, too. For example, suppose a driver makes a poor decision and is the primary cause of an accident, yet the other driver involved was speeding. In that case, they share in the fault. They may not be able to collect compensation, or their payment will be reduced based on their share of the fault, depending on the state where the collision took place.

    Failing to observe traffic signals and signs - It's estimated that about 40% of accidents happen at intersections. Significantly, intersection accidents occur because someone runs a red light or blows through a stop sign. Other problems arise when people don't heed yield, one-way signs, or school and construction road signs.

    Reckless driving - Careless lane switching, following other vehicles too closely, or other unwary roadway maneuvers can easily lead to an accident which would be the reckless driver's responsibility.

    Aggressive driving - Tailgating, headlight flashing, cutting in front of another driver and then slowing down, running red lights, speeding, and other actions that can endanger the safety of others is generally considered aggressive driving behavior. Willful actions that harm others may constitute negligence in the eyes of the law.  

    Fatigue- Many drivers don't realize that when they drive while overly tired, they suffer about the same physical and mental deficiencies as a drunk driver. When drivers operate a vehicle while fatigued, it can impact their ability to react swiftly in the presence of danger and make good judgment calls. Of course, there is the danger of literally falling asleep while operating a fast-moving deadly hunk of metal.

  • Behind Human Error, What Are Some Other Causes of Car Crashes?

    Good drivers try to be defensive and anticipate the unexpected. Still, some circumstances are beyond our control. Here are some additional factors that could influence the cause of a car crash:

    Weather conditions - While drivers should slow down when driving conditions are poor, some issues cannot be overcome, such as heavy fog, high winds, rain, snow, and ice. However, should a driver not use caution and subsequently cause an accident, they may be on the hook for paying for the damages they cause.

    Poor road conditions - A roadway that is in disrepair can have hazards such as potholes that can rupture a tire and send a vehicle out of control. While the driver may still get cited for failure to control their vehicle, the city, municipality, or state may have some liability for ignoring dangerous conditions on roads that are their responsibility to maintain.

    Motor vehicle defects - There are almost too many vehicles that have been recalled because of dangerous defects to mention. Occupants have been killed or badly injured en masse due to faulty vehicle parts. Suppose you or a loved one has suffered because of a motor vehicle defect. In that case, you may have ample cause to bring a lawsuit or file an insurance claim for compensation. Contact one of our car accident lawyers to ensure you don't miss important deadlines for filing a claim against a negligent car manufacturer.

  • How Can the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Save Lives?

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law places significant weight on safety improvements such as the first-of-its-kind Safe Streets and Roads for All Program. This program is slated to invest $6 billion over the course of five years to provide funding to local municipalities in an effort to reduce motor vehicle crashes and deaths. The program includes guidance and standards for speed limits, lane markings, traffic signals, and more on a significant number of roads in the country.

    A number of related programs are being funded to address issues like safety belt awareness, risky driving behaviors, and other safety concerns that impact all of us. Although the pandemic decreased traffic on the roads in 2020, there was a surprising uptick in crashes and fatalities. Many point to riskier behavior as the culprit, potentially as being a response to the unprecedented challenges people faced during the lockdown and fewer cars on the road leading to a lowered sense of danger.

    Still, in 2021, there was an even more significant increase in reported fatalities over the previous year:

    • Multiple-vehicle crash fatalities up 16%
    • Urban road crash fatalities up 16%
    • For individuals 65 and older, crash fatalities went up 14%
    • Pedestrian fatalities up 13%
    • Fatalities involving at least one large truck up to 13%
    • Daylight fatalities are up 11%
    • Fatalities among motorcyclists up 9%
    • Bicyclist fatalities up 5%
    • Speed-related fatalities up 5%
    • Fatalities involving alcohol impairment up by 5%

    Along with the standardization of guidelines, the USDOT intends to leverage technology to combat the nationwide emergency. The goal of the Infrastructure Law and related programs as it pertains to national roadway safety is to reduce serious injury and deaths on every highway, road, and street in the U.S. with the ultimate goal of zero fatalities. 

  • What Are the Odds of Crashing Your Car?

    According to data compiled by prominent insurance companies, the chances of crashing your car are about one in 366 for every 1,000 miles driven. However, this number doesn't automatically mean you'll suffer an injury. You may find yourself in a minor fender bender which can usually be resolved without issue through your or the other party's insurance.

    Other factors influencing your odds of being involved in an accident are your age, gender, where you live, and how many miles you drive. Significantly, young male drivers are most likely to be involved in a car accident.

  • How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help if I'm Involved in a Car Crash?

    Not every car crash incident warrants the need for legal representation. However, if you've been seriously injured, you may need legal help so you can focus on your recovery. Still, you have the right to choose legal counsel whenever you're involved in an insurance claim or want to pursue a lawsuit. Using a lawyer doesn't come with any guarantees. Still, you can generally expect a better outcome if your claim is legitimate and there's sufficient proof of the other party's negligence.

    When you've suffered severe injuries, a car accident lawyer can help you win compensation for losses like medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and more, even in states that follow no-fault insurance law. You may need professional help to determine how much your claim is worth because often, people don't realize they need to include future damages as well. If your accident caused a disability, you have to consider how much medical care will cost down the road, how much you will lose in income, and how it will affect your life.

    At Morgan and Morgan, we have experts that will investigate, compile evidence, and work to ensure you get the total value of your claim, whether through an insurance company or other drivers involved in your car crash. We have the skills, resources, and a winning reputation that can put other parties on notice that you're serious about accountability.

    Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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