Car accidents occur so often that being in one isn’t a matter of if, but when for most motorists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports an estimated 5.5 million accidents take place in the United States each year. This amounts to nearly 16,000 car accident a day, every day!
Indeed, multiple studies have shown that the average driver will get into at least one car accident every 17 years. For more reckless, pedal-to-the-metal drivers, this rate is almost certainly higher. The sad reality is that no matter how careful of a driver you may be, you will likely be involved in a car accident at some point in your commuting future. Here are the top 7 accident facts you should know to stay prepared and, literally, ahead of the curve.
Fact #1: Alcohol Causes 1/3 of all Fatal Accidents
Along with excessive speeding, drinking and driving causes more auto accident fatalities than any other reason. The plain fact is that alcohol and safe driving simply do not mix. With so many rideshare options available today, there really is no excuse to get behind the wheel after you’ve had a couple of rounds. Do yourself and your fellow motorists a favor and call an Uber if you are feeling even a tad tipsy. You’ll thank us in the morning.
Fact #2: Rollover Accidents are Extremely Dangerous
One of the most dangerous types of accidents to suffer is that of the dreaded rollover. Not only do rollover accidents cause an unprecedented amount of head injuries, these accidents can also throw you right out of your vehicle. Luckily, more modern car designs have gone a long way in stemming the risk of such crashes, reducing rollovers to just under 5% of all accidents. But more work needs to be done. Rollover accidents continue to account for almost a third of all auto fatalities.
Fact #3: Seat Belts Prevent You From Being Ejected
The very best way to prevent yourself from being thrown from your vehicle in the event of a crash is to always, always wear your seatbelt. No excuses. No matter if you are driving across town or just down the street, an accident can occur when you least expect it and a seatbelt is, by far, your best defense. Nobody wants to be ejected out of a car window, so get in the habit of buckling up before you even turn the key. Safe habits are the best habits.
Fact #4: An Accident Kills Someone Every 15 Minutes
The most harrowing fact on this list is that 1 person dies in an auto accident every 15 minutes in the US. This means nearly 100 people die every day on American roads. Next time you get behind the wheel, be sure to do your part by practicing defensive driving, following all posted traffic laws, never drink and drive, and please, for heaven’s sake, buckle your seatbelt!
Fact #5: Men Cause More Accidents than Women
Despite the chauvinistic stereotype that women are terrible drivers, statistics clearly show that men cause far more accidents than women. How many more accidents? Some data put the number of accidents caused by men to be as high as 60-65% of all reported collisions. Granted, men do drive far more than women so, logically, they have more opportunities to be involved in an accident. Regardless, it’s not hard to see why insurance rates are higher for men than they are for women.
Fact #6: 1 out of 6 Drivers is Uninsured
The last thing you want to hear from a driver who plowed into your car is that they don’t have car insurance. More and more, though, this is an unfortunate reality for far too many drivers. National statistics show that as many as 15% of all motorists on the road may not have even the most basic of liability coverage. Without an at-fault insurance policy to cover the damages and losses you have suffered, you will likely have to rely on your own insurance or, worse, try to sue the responsible driver, but only if they have any assets to pursue in court. The best solution to such a problem is to simply add Uninsured Motorist coverage to your insurance policy. It’s relatively inexpensive and more than worth it if you do get into an accident with a nitwit who doesn’t have insurance on his vehicle.
Fact #7: Speed Really Does Kill
Along with alcohol, speeding beyond the posted limits kills more people on the road than any other reason. Up to a quarter of all auto-related deaths are due to excessive speeding. Sadly, this percentage jumps even higher if you toss alcohol to the mix. Nearly 40% of speeding drivers were found to be under the influence of alcohol. So, again, The Advocates would like to remind you that if you’ve had a round or two at the bar, err on the side of caution and call an Uber or a Lyft to carry you home in one piece. You may just save a life…or two.
Be safe out there, Idaho.
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