Thousands upon thousands of people are injured and killed in car accidents every year.
In 2017, an estimated 40,100 people perished in automobile accidents.
The number of people injured in accidents is much higher, but hard to gauge because many people don't report their injuries.
It's estimated that over the course of their lifetime, Americans will be involved in about four automobile accidents.
You don't even have to be in your car. An estimated 6,000 pedestrians were killed last year in car accidents.
So how can we avoid it?
What's the best way to be sure we don't have our lives interrupted by a car accident?
The first step is to know how they occur.
If we know how they happen, we'll understand better how to prevent them.
Below are the top 7 causes of car accidents, along with the statistics.
1. Driver Fatigue
Who hasn't driven at least a little tired?
Just about everyone has sat behind the wheel when they would rather be napping.
It starts innocent enough, but it can turn out to be lethal.
Tired drivers account for a little over 1% of all car accidents.
That may seem small, but that's about 83,000 accidents each year.
In 2014 846 people lost their lives due to drowsy driving.
2. Red Lights
We learn at a young that green means go, and red means stop.
However, when we get behind the wheel, sometimes we forget about that rule.
Or maybe we just aren't paying attention to the lights.
It's common for people to try to beat the yellow light while they're running late for something.
Yellow is supposed to mean slow down.
We often interpret it to mean hurry up.
That yellow light soon turns red though, and that's when the problems arise.
From 2010-2014, an average of 705 people
That's 705 people taken from this Earth because someone was impatient or not paying attention.
Think about that next time you try to beat the yellow light.
On the surface, people aren't responsible for these accidents.
It's not like we can control the weather. We didn't decide there's going to be an ice storm on our way to work.
However, we are responsible for how we drive in these adverse weather conditions.
If the roads are compromised because of the weather, we need to adjust our driving accordingly.
From 2005-2014 there were 1,258,978 accidents due to bad weather.
That's accounts for about 22% of all accidents over that 10-year span.
5,897 people died in those accidents.
So next time the weather is bad, take a minute to think about how badly you need to get where you're going.
If you don't have to drive, don't drive.
Related Post: When do car accidents happen most frequently and why?
4. Cell Phones
Distracted driving is a huge factor in car accidents.
The primary source of our distraction?
Our cell phones.
These accidents are easily preventable.
Keep your phone in your purse or your pocket.
Don't touch it until you're parked.
That text or that notification can wait.
You can do whatever you need to do once you get to where you're gong.
If you use your cell phone while driving, you might not make it to where you're going.
In 2014, there were about 69,000 accidents involving cell phones.
That's a 38% increase since 2010.
Don't assume it's just the young drivers at fault here.
Every age group has its fair share of people who drive and text.
Even when we aren't using our cell phones, drivers still seem to be easily distracted.
We've all seen something crazy driving down the interstate.
The lady putting on makeup.
The guy taking his lunch break and chowing down on a burger, driving his car.
Then there's always something mind-blowingly careless, like having a laptop out working on a presentation on your way to work.
Even the split second we take adjusting our radios can turn out to be disastrous.
From 2010-2014, distracted drivers caused 4.5 million car crashes.
In 2014 alone, that number was around 967,000 accidents.
That's nearly 16% of all car accidents during that time being completely preventable.
6. Drunk Driving
The cardinal sin of driving.
The one act that turns a saint into a villain.
One of the most irresponsible things we can do as adults.
Driving while intoxicated severely impairs our judgment and cognitive abilities to drive.
Yet, it happens over and over and over again.
It's estimated that every single day, 28 people die due to drunk driving.
28 people gone, every single day
That averages out to about one death every 53 minutes.
From 2005-2014, drunk driving has accounted for 31.07% of all car accident fatalities.
This is one that just about every person on the planet who has driven a car is guilty of.
Even if it's just 1 mph over the limit, that's speeding.
From 2006-2015, 108,554 were due to speeding.
10,000 people died in 2015 due to speeding.
Be careful out there
Those are the top 7 causes of car accidents.
The most astonishing things about that list are how preventable most of them are.
Distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, are all easily avoidable.
Lives will be saved if we follow the law and pay attention.
Unfortunately, not all drivers obey the law and even less are paying attention.
Being involved in a car accident can change your entire life.
You may lose your car, accumulate medical bills, or even lose your life.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, it's time to talk to a lawyer.
The lawyers at The Brown Firm have years of experience handling car accident cases.
If you'd like to speak to someone on our team, just click the link below.
We're ready for your call.