By any measure, 2020 was a difficult year. You might think that pandemic-related lockdowns would have meant a decrease in motor vehicle accidents, but in fact, that’s incorrect. In the United States, auto accident fatalities increased in 2020 over 2019. Let’s look at some statistics.
- Globally, auto accidents are the eighth leading cause of death, killing more people than AIDS and tuberculosis. Among people aged 5-29, they’re the leading cause, and 73 percent of all road accidents happen among men under 25. Daily, about 3,700 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents: that’s about one death on the road every 24 seconds.
- Accidents are expensive. Worldwide, traffic injuries cost about $518 billion. In fact, auto accidents cost most nations about three percent of their GDP. Among high-income nations, the United States has the highest number of fatalities from auto accidents, creating $380 million annually in medical costs. Overall, the cost of motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. is about $230.6 billion annually.
- As mentioned, auto accident fatalities were higher in 2020 than in previous years. In the first nine months of 2020, deaths in car accidents increased by 4.6 percent, for a total of over 28,000 people. Why? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) theorizes that because the roads were more open and speed limits weren’t stringently enforced, more people began speeding, leading to more fatal crashes than in the year before.
- Most car accidents in the United States are caused by one of five factors.
- Distracted driving: Whether it’s checking a mobile phone, eating or drinking, interacting with someone else in the car, or looking at something outside, even a moment of distraction can result in an accident.
- Driving under the influence: Despite laws against drinking and driving, people still do it. In 65 percent of car accident fatalities, alcohol is present in the driver’s bloodstream.
- Reckless driving: Speeding is responsible for about 27 percent of road fatalities and 19 percent of injuries.
- Driving in bad weather: The problems caused by inclement weather cause 23 percent of all road accident fatalities.
- Running red lights: This is always risky, because it puts you in the path of those with a green light.
- Sometimes you can’t avoid an accident. If you’ve been in an accident because of another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for not only your vehicle’s damage, but also expenses related to injuries sustained in the accident.
No matter what kind of accident you’ve been in, you need an attorney you can depend on to be on your side. At Taps and Associates, we provide personal attention to every case we handle, because we believe that the biggest reward for us as attorneys is helping our clients and protecting them from those who would take advantage of them. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney you can trust, contact us through our website or call 404-492-8746.