Every year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) records more than five million car crashes; more than 30,000 of these are fatal, while more than two million result either to minor or serious injuries. Besides fatality rate, the NHTSA-created Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also have records that show the following:
- Between 1899 and 2012 there were 3,551,332 fatal motor vehicle accidents;
- In 2010, about 5,419,000 crashes resulted to 32,999 deaths and 2,239,000 injuries;
- In 2011, motor vehicle accidents killed 32,479 individuals, the lowest number of fatal motor vehicle accidents since 1949;
- In 2012, fatal crashes involving distracted drivers killed 3,328 individuals (this was 32 less individuals compared to the 3,360 deaths in 2011. The number of injuries increased, though, from 387,000 in 2011 to 421,000 in 2012;
- In 2013, 10,076 individuals were killed in motor vehicle accidents due to alcohol-impaired driving; and,
- 90% of all road accidents are due to bad driving behavior, some of which are drunk-driving, reckless driving, speeding, especially while under the influence of alcohol, driving through a red light, changing lanes without signaling, and using a cellphone while driving.
The International Organization for Road Accident Prevention believes that road danger is nothing more than a man-made crisis and that it is a totally preventable occurrence resulting from negligence. One very sad and alarming fact, however, which records consistently show, is that offenders in road crashes, especially fatal ones, are mostly young drivers, those aged between 16 and 34 (teens aged 16 to 19 are three times more likely to be involved in fatal car crashes than those over the age of 20 though).
The inexperience and immaturity on the road of young drivers, as well as their inclination to take risks, are creating results that are far beyond what they presume. Acts of recklessness, which so many drivers have been guilty of, but which young drivers are so much more prone to commit include:
- Driving too fast for conditions;
- Tailgating (which is actually a sign of aggressive driving behavior);
- Running a red light or a stop sign;
- Improper lane changing;
- Improper turning;
- Improper overtaking or unsafe passing (which can result to a vehicle running off the road, sideswiping another motorist, and head-on collision);
- Getting distracted while behind the wheel (this can be due to use of use electronic devices, especially a cell phone, adjusting the radio or turning its volume to full blast, looking at a map, eating, etc.);
- Conversing with a passenger; and,
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or both (despite the federal’s and state’s zero tolerance laws, which strictly prohibit any level of alcohol in the blood of those under the age of 21, records from the NHTSA show that 33% of the teens who died in fatal collisions were actually intoxicated)
As explained by Wausau car accident lawyers, the aftermath of an auto accident can involve a range of frustrations, such as insurance paperwork, auto repairs, medical treatment, and lost time at work, besides physical trauma and suffering, which may even have life-changing effects. When an accident occurs, more so if it is due to the reckless actions of another party, the victim has the right to pursue financial compensation for all damages that will result from his/her injury. Getting assistance from an auto accident attorney, who is fully aware of the intricacies associated with this area of law, can be advantageous for the victim.