On average, 90 people die every day from motor vehicle crashes in the United States, according to the CDC. That’s more than twice the daily average of 19 other high-income countries. In a single year, fatal vehicle crashes cost the nation $44 billion in lost work and medical expenses. These are the leading causes of fatal accidents.
The leading cause for fatal car accidents is distracted driving, especially for drivers between 15 to 20 years of age. These accidents can be caused by anything from looking at or talking to passengers, playing with the radio, or cell phone use. Many states have made it illegal to text or use a cell phone while driving without a hands-free device, which has helped decrease the amount of accidents.
Another contributor to the number and severity of car accidents is excessive speed. As the speed in which a vehicle is moving at the time of a crash increases, so does the likelihood that the crash will end in fatalities.
Men are more likely to be involved in fatal car crashes than females, especially young men and teenagers that are driving under the influence of alcohol. These speed demons lead the families of victims to seek a wrongful death attorney, impacting their lives forever with the loss of a loved one.
Other Contributing Risk Factors
There are several other causes behind fatal car crashes. Nearly all of them are caused by reckless or distracted driving habits, but some come from a simple lack of safety.
- Driving an unsafe vehicle
- Not obeying traffic laws
- Driving without using seat belts
- Driving during hazardous road conditions
- Driving while drowsy or groggy
- Driving while upset or angry
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications
Preventing a Fatal Car Crash-What Can You Do
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the majority of car accidents happen during weekday rush-hour traffic, on Friday and Saturday nights, and during holidays when people are driving long distances to visit friends and family. Taking extra care to be alert to potential dangers during these times could prevent a fatal car crash.
Other Ways to Prevent a Fatal Car Crash
Never mix alcohol, narcotics, or prescription medication with driving. Never use your cellphone for calls or text, either. Switch to a hands-free device if necessary. Always make sure you and your passengers are properly wearing a seat belt. Obey all traffic signs and signals, and do not exceed the posted legal speed limit.
Always make sure your vehicle is in safe working condition, too. Simply checking your tires and signal lights could easily prevent an accident. If needed, adjust your driving speed and style to the current road and weather conditions. Avoid driving in unsafe conditions such as heavy rain, snow, ice, and other unfavorable conditions.
When it comes to avoiding an accident, especially fatal ones, a driver’s focus must be on safety first. By obeying the laws and remembering the safe driving techniques you learned during driver’s ed, you can help keep yourself and everyone else on the road out of harm’s way.