The Association for Safe International Road Travel estimates that 37,000 people lose their lives in car accidents each year. 2.35 million additional people suffer injuries or disabilities as a result of auto accidents. Traffic fatalities among those under the age of 15 total 1,600, and those between the ages of 16 and 20 account for over 8,000 fatalities annually.
Even though technical and legislative adjustments have been made to lower the fatal accident rate, many car accidents are caused by intoxicated or reckless driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol-impaired driving causes 29 deaths per day in the United States.
According to statistics, 9,967 people died in DUI crashes in 2014, which is close to one-third of all road accidents nationwide.
These figures are enormous and alarming. With more than 200 million motorists on the road, the unthinkable can occur in an instant. Every second, drivers, passengers, and even pedestrians, run the risk of suffering deadly injuries. To prevent traffic fatalities and accidents, it is crucial to understand the laws of the road and how to react in different circumstances.
How to Respond in the Event of a Car Accident
Hopefully, emerging technologies will render car accidents virtually extinct. Car accident lawyers are mainly a good resource for legal information and response. However, there are immediate procedures you must take if you are in an accident to guarantee that your rights are upheld:
- As you secure the area, dial 911. Make sure everyone is okay as a first step. Dial 911 as soon as possible and take all necessary precautions to create a secure atmosphere until help arrives. Receive first assistance if necessary.
- Note everything down. Exchange insurance details with all other parties involved. Note everything that happened in great detail, including what you and the other drivers were doing just before the collision.
- Take note of any peculiar circumstances, such a broken traffic light or a lot of rain. Take time-stamped images of all the vehicles involved in the collision as well as the accident scene. Obtain the names and phone numbers of as many witnesses as you can.
- Look for medical help. You should get checked out as soon as possible, even if you feel fine. If you choose to pursue an injury claim, you will need medical proof because some injuries take a few days to manifest symptoms.
- Call your insurance provider. Start a claim within 24 hours of any accident, no matter how small. You don’t want to lose your entitlement to be reimbursed for your charges because repair bills can be unexpectedly expensive.
Tips for Safe Driving
Be sure to always buckle your seatbelt. Make it a practice to buckle up as soon as you get in the car.
- Respect all signs and speed limits.
- Never operate a vehicle when intoxicated. Nowadays, there are many excellent solutions for transportation. There are other possibilities, like calling a local car service or taxi, ordering an Uber or Lyft ride share, or asking a friend to drive you. Driving while intoxicated can have an adverse effect on both your life and the lives of others for years to come.
- Maintain eye movement. Become accustomed to keeping an eye out for traffic on all sides of the road. Check your rearview mirror frequently as well.
- Be aware that other drivers will commit errors and drive carelessly. You must be vigilant and prepared to act in a way that keeps everyone on the road safe. Even though you could be upset with the other drivers or pedestrians, intentionally provoking an accident will lead to more serious issues.
- When an emergency vehicle approaches, stop and move to the right side of the road.
- Be aware that the leftmost lanes on multilane roads and highways are only for passing. Stay in the right lanes if you don’t want to pass a car.
Economic Impact of Car Accidents
According to recent research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which was published in the September 19 issue of Annals of Emergency Medicine, the total economic costs of motor vehicle crashes in the United States for the year 2000 have increased by an estimated 50% since the last study was conducted in 1994.
This rise incorporates costs for crashes that occurred in 2000 and includes costs for the 41,821 fatalities, 5.3 million injuries, and 28 million damaged automobiles.
The entire price tag ($230.6 billion) takes into account costs for lost productivity, property damage, medical bills, rehab charges, travel delays, emergency services, legal fees, insurance administration fees, and employer costs.
Alcohol continues to be a significant contributing element in car accidents. In 2000, alcohol use contributed to 40% (16,792) of all road fatalities and 46% of all costs associated with alcohol-related collisions.
These collisions also resulted in 513,000 nonfatal injuries and $51 billion in economic losses. Costs associated with alcohol-related crashes accounted for 75% of all collisions where the blood alcohol content was 0.10 percent or above.
The report claims that many of the drivers engaged in collisions continue to break the law, including speeding and operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Insurance premiums, taxes, and travel delays are ways that society as a whole is made to pay for the costs involved. These expenses came to about $170 billion in 2000.
How to Assess Your Need for a Car Accident Attorney
You might be able to resolve your claim on your own if the accident was minor, involved little damage and no injuries, and both parties have insurance. However, more complicated instances necessitate the services of a lawyer, particularly when there has been severe property damage, serious injuries, or an uninsured motorist. The goal of insurance companies is to reach a settlement as quickly and cheaply as feasible.
Additionally, certain states have laws governing comparative negligence, which means that if you are found to have contributed to the accident in any way, your damages will be diminished accordingly. You need a skilled auto accident attorney who can explain your current and potential damages, make sure your share of fault is accurate, and fight for every penny you want.