Car Accidents—On the Road to Becoming the 7th Leading Cause of Death Worldwide
Globally, nearly 1.25 million people lose their lives every year because of a motor vehicle accident. That alone is a scary statistic, but it gets even scarier—accident injuries are the leading cause of death among people aged between 15 and 29. Now more than ever, it’s time that drivers are prepared with prevention knowledge as well as recommendations on what to do if you are ever a crash victim.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), without serious improvement, crashes are predicted to become the seventh leading cause of death by 2030. Preparing yourself with as much knowledge as you can will help you from becoming a statistic.
The reasons for accidents vary, but some of the most common causes include:
Distracted driving: According to distracteddriving.com, over 400,000 people are injured in accidents where the driver was inattentive to the surroundings. Additionally, over 300,000 accidents caused by texting while driving result in serious injuries. Drivers need to make stronger efforts to avoid texting, talking on the phone, eating and participating in any other activity while driving.
Speeding: The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that an increase in speed is related to both the likelihood of an accident occurring and to the severity of the injuries.
Tail gaiting and other forms of reckless driving including:
- Wrong-way driving
- Improper turns
- Dangerous lane changes
Failing to stop for red lights: Averagely speaking, about 2 people die each day in crashes caused by drivers not stopping for red lights.
Alcohol intoxication: According to the CDC, 10,265 people died in alcohol-related driving accidents in the United States in 2015. In that same year, 16% of traffic deaths involving children were caused by an intoxicated driver.
Impaired weather conditions: The Weather Channel recently reported that weather-related accidents kill more people each year than disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes. Hazardous driving conditions are often caused by fog, rain, ice and snow.
Driving at night: Statistics prove that reduced lighting contributes to a driver’s ability to avoid accidents.
Young drivers: The CDC reported that motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for teenagers in the United States.
Elderly drivers: Nearly 6,000 older adults were killed in car accidents in 2014. Additionally, more than 236,000 were injured and treated in emergency departments.
Vehicle mechanical flaws: The most common mechanical issues that contribute to traffic accidents are faulty wipers, bad brakes, tire blow-outs and inadequate headlights and taillights.
Poor vehicle maintenance: Even though driver error is typically the cause of many accidents, poorly maintained vehicles also make a significant impact.
What are the most common injuries suffered in motor vehicle accidents?
Car accidents can inflict many different injuries depending on the circumstance of the crash. Some that are commonly reported include:
- Skull fractures resulting in severe brain injuries
- Trauma to the eyes and ears that cause hearing and sight loss
- Back trauma resulting in spinal cord injuries and ruptured disc issues
- Chest injuries including fractured sternum or ribs
- Ruptures of one or more internal organs
- Abdominal injuries
- Broken bones
- Facial lacerations and bruising
- Psychological injuries such as anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and emotional distress
How can I reduce my risk of being in a vehicle accident?
Many clients ask what they need to do after an accident, but avoiding one altogether is the ideal situation. Here is a list of best practices to help you avoid being in a motor vehicle accident:
- Always wear your seat belt
- Do not text, eat or talk on the phone while behind the wheel
- Avoid Speeding
- Avoid tailgating
- Avoid driving in inclement weather conditions if possible
- Avoid driving at night
- Stay in your lane and use the left lane for passing purposes only
- Drive with at least one hand on the wheel at all times
- Use your turn signals and give the driver behind you plenty of notice before you turn
- Do not drive drowsy
- Do not drive after drinking alcohol beverages
- Be aware of your surroundings and watch for emergency vehicles
- Be diligent about fixing any vehicle recalls and schedule routine maintenance
- Keep your anger in check—road rage is a killer
ACT FAST: Crucial steps to take immediately after you are in a car accident
An attorney should be called before you admit any kind of fault to authorities or other drivers.
Call the police immediately. It is never a good idea to forego contacting the police after an accident. Not calling will make it difficult for you to have car damages repaired.
Trade insurance and contact information with all drivers involved in the accident.
Find and document any evidence by taking pictures and making notes of key details from your point of view. It is recommended not to share any accident pictures or details on your social media accounts.
Act now and understand your rights. There are time limits to filing a case. If you miss your state’s deadline, you will not be able to recover any damages.
Seek medical attention immediately after an accident. It is up to you to understand your injuries and to follow your Doctor’s instructions. If you don’t, the insurance adjuster may question the validity of your injury claim.
Talking with insurance companies without your attorney is a bad idea. One of the key goals an insurance company has is to get you to sign medical and other releases. It is in their best interest for you to accept a settlement that is lower that what you should get. Don’t do it.
What will insurance cover?
Insurance will vary depending on your coverage. More than likely, any payment you receive from your carrier will be subjected to a deductible that you are responsible for. You can expect to pay the full amount of the deductible unless the accident was not your fault or if you were found only partially to blame. It is vital that you do not talk to your insurance company without your attorney. It is in the best interest of the insurance company to settle fast with the least amount of pay-out. An attorney will look out for your interests first.
What are my legal options?
If you or someone you know was in a car crash, contact the experienced traffic accidents team at 1-800-LAW-FIRM. We will analyze the details of your accident and customize the best course of action for you. All consultations are free and completely confidential.