Probability of Getting Into a Car Crash

Probability of Getting Into a Car Crash

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Probability of Getting Into a Car Crash

While it's probably not the first thing you think about when you enter a vehicle, getting into a car accident is still a fear most people have at the back of their minds. Being involved in an auto collision can be a life-changing experience, and not in a good way, but just what is the probability of getting into a car crash? Well, during your lifetime, unfortunately, the chances are quite high, but it usually depends on a few factors.

The car accident lawyers at Morgan and Morgan understand how much getting into a car crash can impact your life, and we're here whenever you need help recovering compensation for an accident that wasn't your fault. We'll go over some of the statistics concerning car crashes in the United States, how to avoid one, and what you can do to ensure you're compensated for injuries and losses if the inevitable happens.

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  • What Factors Influence Your Likelihood of Getting Into a Car Crash?

    Just using averages, the chances of getting into a car crash are increased depending on these factors:

    • Your driving frequency
    • Your behavior behind the wheel
    • The location of where you drive
    • The type of vehicle you drive
    • Your age
    • When you drive

    Generally, there are more than 5 million car accidents reported to the police each year in the United States. That is about one crash every six minutes. About 77% of motorists have reported being in at least one car accident in their life. Studies show that for every 1000 miles driven, your chances of getting into a crash are 1 in 366. Insurance companies report that customers file a claim once every 17.9 years, averaging three or four accidents throughout the customer's lifetime.

    Your own driving behavior is a huge factor in the probability of getting into a car crash, and we'll go over that later in detail. However, not all accidents are avoidable because we can't control the actions of others. When a car accident is caused through no fault of your own, and you suffer losses because of someone else's negligence, you have legal options that Morgan and Morgan can help you explore.

    Nighttime and weekend driving increases the risk of getting into a collision because of tiredness and the potential for other drivers to be alcohol-impaired. Likewise, drivers are more susceptible to risk-taking at night and on weekends. Visibility is cut down to just about 250 feet with normal headlights on and just 500 feet with high beams, leaving less time to react to dangers up ahead. Older adults are more at risk because of compromised vision. Drivers over 50 may need twice as much light to see, as well as individuals just 20 years younger. Additionally, older adults may have other vision troubles due to cataracts and other degenerative eye diseases.
    Fatigued driving is far more common than you might think, with 37% of National Sleep Foundation poll responders admitting to falling asleep behind the wheel. More shockingly, 13% of these responders admitted to falling asleep at least once a month while operating their vehicles. Generally, crashes that involve fatigued drivers happen when you might expect, between the hours of 4 to 6 a.m., midnight to 2 a.m., and 2 to 4 p.m.

    A study by the National Highway Traffic Administration found that Saturdays are the most dangerous day of the week to drive, followed by Friday and then Sunday. The cause is mostly alcohol use and speeding.

    Similarly, your chances of getting into a crash are higher on rural roads than on urban roads because people generally travel at a higher rate of speed, the shoulders are narrow, the lighting is poor or nonexistent, and rural roads tend to be curvier. Additionally, rural drivers are more likely to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and tend to wear seatbelts less consistently than city drivers. Getting into an accident in the country also results in more deaths because it takes longer for emergency responders to get to the scene and transport severely injured individuals to emergency care.

    The kind of vehicle you drive can also make you more prone to getting into a car crash. For example, SUVs and pickup trucks are more likely to roll over because of the height and center of gravity. However, suppose a large and small vehicle gets into a crash. In that case, the occupants of the larger vehicle are usually more protected. According to a 2021 study conducted by Insurify, the most crash-prone vehicles by class are as follows:

    Compact cars - Subaru Impreza
    Mid-size cars - Kia Stinger, Toyota Prius
    Luxury cars - Lexus CT, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Subaru WRX, Infiniti Q60
    Small SUVs - Hyundai Ioniq, Mazda CX-3
    SUVs - Scion FR-6

  • What Personal Characteristics Make it More Likely to Get Into a Car Wreck?

    While a small percentage of car wrecks are caused by auto defects like faulty brakes or malfunctioning systems, most car accidents are caused by human factors. Here are some characteristics that impact the probability of getting into a car crash:

    Age Matters

    Teenage drivers consistently cause more accidents than any other demographic. Statistics document that drivers ages sixteen to nineteen are three times more likely to be involved in fatal car accidents than drivers over 20 years of age. In fact, it's the leading cause of death for those in that age category. Often, peer pressure causes young drivers to make poor choices, such as speeding and driving while intoxicated. Speed and intoxication are certainly not limited to teenage drivers, but that, combined with inexperience, leads to this age group being the most dangerous on the road. Older adults are the second most at risk due to aging factors like hearing and vision loss, slowing reflexes, and cognitive impairment.

    Drinking and Driving

    People who drink and drive are among the top reasons for car accidents, and they are responsible for about one-third of all driving fatalities in the nation. Drunk drivers have slowed reaction times, impaired judgment, poor vision, and decreased coordination. Driving under the influence is illegal in all 50 states because of the well-documented danger it poses to others on the road and the drunk driver.

    Distracted Drivers

    One of the primary reasons people get into car crashes is because they're simply not paying attention to the task at hand. However, distracted driving accidents are 100% preventable. Motorists who text while driving are 23 times more at risk of causing an accident than those who don't. It's estimated that reading a text takes, on average, about 4.6 seconds. During that time, a driver can travel the length of a football field if traveling at 50 MPH. That's a frightening thought.

    Still, drivers can be distracted for all kinds of reasons, such as paying attention to personal grooming, eating, fiddling with tech gadgets, or tending to children. In fact, drivers with young children in the car are more at risk for distracted driving because of concern for their child, but also, they may be driving while sleep impaired.


    People who speed can be a menace to other drivers because they don't have as much time to make critical decisions in the face of sudden changes or hazards on the road. Most motorists would like to see other drivers slow down for everyone's safety. Still, speeding causes nearly 10,000 deaths every year in this country. No matter where you're headed, cutting a few minutes off your trip is never worth causing a serious accident.

    Tired Drivers

    Drivers who operate their vehicles without adequate rest are at risk of not paying proper attention or falling asleep at the wheel. Fatigued drivers are essentially driving while impaired, which is why there are laws about how long commercial drivers can operate their vehicles at a stretch. Unfortunately, we don't have legally enforceable guidelines for regular drivers. Still, a tired driver could be held responsible for an accident just as much as a driver impaired by alcohol or drugs.

  • What Can You Do to Avoid Getting Into a Car Crash?

    While there's never a guarantee for safety on the road, you can change your driving habits to limit the risks as much as possible. Here are a few recommendations:

    Utilize safety features - Most modern cars come with an array of safety features like accident-avoidance systems and airbags. It may take a while to familiarize yourself with all the functionality, but it could help you avoid an accident. For example, your car may have a system that alerts you when veering into another lane or being too close to another vehicle. It's best to do your research, so you take full advantage of what your car offers for crash prevention.

    Slow down - Speed limits are put in place because it's the fastest speed to safely travel on that particular road. There may be schools, heavy pedestrian traffic, curves, blind spots, and upcoming traffic signals. Still, it's not always enough just to obey speed limits. Weather conditions can make driving more hazardous, and good drivers slow down to account for these variations. Snow, wind, and rain can turn a regular trip into a perilous voyage, especially when other drivers are not reacting appropriately.

    Drive-friendly - Other drivers can sometimes be infuriating. However, an ounce of kindness could make a difference in the safety of others and yourself. Yield, slow down, back off, wave another driver on, and just be courteous, even when others aren't.

    Look at the traffic before proceeding - Even if you have a green light, it's a good idea to check cross traffic to make sure everyone is slowing down or already at a stop. That way, you lessen the likelihood of getting T-boned by a driver that's rushing to make a yellow light or missed a stop sign. Likewise, always look both ways before entering a street. You may have a bicyclist riding on the sidewalk to your right, going against traffic rules.

    Call a car service if you drink - It should go without saying, but according to statistics, it never hurts to point it out repeatedly. Don't drive if you've been drinking. Call a friend or family member, use public transportation, or call an Uber—just don't get behind the wheel when you've been drinking.

    Obey traffic signals - Sometimes, you may think a quick illegal U-turn won't hurt anything, but those signs are in place for a reason. Failing to observe traffic signs and signals may result in a car accident. If you're the one that's guilty of a traffic violation, most likely, you'll be the one that ends up paying for any damages caused.

  • Did You Get Hurt in a Car Accident?

    The probability of getting into a car crash is quite high, and while being a licensed, insured, and defensive driver is the responsible thing to be, sometimes crashes can't be avoided and aren't your fault. When a negligent driver causes you harm, you have options to hold them accountable. Morgan and Morgan can help. We can work to gather evidence of their negligence, negotiate with their insurance company, and fight to make sure your medical expenses and other losses are compensated. We have experienced car accident lawyers in every state that can look into your case's facts and tell you the best strategy.

    Morgan and Morgan have worked hard to ensure thousands of car accident victims get the compensation they deserve. In fact, we've recovered more than $20 billion for clients over the past 35+ years.

    Contact us today for a free case evaluation. If your case has merit, you can be assured you'll have a dedicated and talented car accident lawyer working on your behalf.

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