You drive to work, the grocery store, and more in any given week without ever coming close to being an accident. This gives a lot of drivers the feeling that a wreck simple won’t happen to them, but the numbers tell a different story.
Studies show that 77% of drivers will be involved in at least one accident in their life. Car insurance companies estimate that a claim will need to be filed for a collision once every 17.9 years, and that’s just for a single driver. So, what are your odds for getting in a car accident?
On the Decline
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that car accident fatalities have been on the decline by a steady one-third drop in the past three years. In fact, deaths caused by collisions have slowly dropped every year since 1985.
Improved safety standards and the structural design of automobiles have played an enormous part in this decline. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates these improvements have saved 614,000 lives. That’s in addition to improved roadway safety such as rumble strips, better lighting at night, and medians.
Overall accidents, however, continue to fluctuate. Keep in mind that these can range from minor fender benders to more serious collisions. So, your odds of being involved in a fatal car crash continue to decrease. What about regular accidents, though?
The first consideration is whether you follow the speed limit or not. A top factor in fatal and non-fatal accidents is speeding drivers, and that number is the highest among teens. In fact, the only higher cause of crashes is impaired driving though drinking and drugs.
Roughly 42% of drivers do not think that traveling 10mph over the speed limit is wrong. Roughly 10% think going 20mph over is fine, too. A simple 10mph increase can increase the risk of an accident by 9.1%, however.
This factor is unavoidable simple because you can’t control the weather, but it should come as no surprise that snow, ice, and rain lead to more accidents. Ice alone contributes to 156,000 collisions each year. Roughly 24% of all accidents happen in winter conditions.
While you can’t control the weather, you can control your response to it. Keep in mind that it takes longer to brake in these conditions. Maintaining a slower speed is ideal, as is routine maintenance on your vehicle and its tires.
Over 50% of accidents are caused by aggressive drivers in the United States. Speed is contributing factor here, but so is tailgating and unsafe maneuvers. The number of aggressive driving accidents an auto accident injury lawyer sees in their career is astonishing. While some drivers might make you angry, remember to keep your emotions in check if you want to lessen your chances of a crash.
Distracted and Impaired Driving
If you drink and drive, you’re raising your chances of an accident astronomically. Thirty people die every day from drunk driving in the United States alone. Drugs also play a large factor in these statistics. The more responsible you are, the safer you are.
Distracted driving is just as dangerous, though. If you text, eat, take calls, smoke, or any other action that takes away your full focus while operating your vehicle, you’re increasing the odds of an accident. Changing clothes and styling hair are top causes, too. Whatever it is, it can wait until you arrive at your destination.