If you want to know how many car accidents happen in the USA, then you need to be aware of some of the statistics. This article will highlight some of the most common causes of car accidents in the United States, and it will also discuss the economic impact of the losses caused by these crashes.
Speeding is the number one cause of car accidents
In a recent study, speeding was found to be the number one cause of car accidents in the USA. Speeding is defined as driving too fast for conditions. It reduces the driver’s reaction time, increases the stopping distance, and decreases the effectiveness of safety equipment.
As a result, a car accident with a speeding driver can be far more damaging than one without a speeding driver. Besides the increased risk of death, speeding can also increase the cost of medical treatment and property damage.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that there are more than 12 deaths per 12 minutes in the United States. This is because speeding can increase the risk of severe injuries and fatal accidents.
One of the reasons for this is that speeding can make steering difficult. Likewise, speeding can affect road safety in poorly lit areas.
Moreover, speeding can increase the stopping distance, which can lead to more expensive collisions. Also, it reduces the effectiveness of seat belts, airbags, and other safety devices.
Non-traffic fatalities account for 900 to 1,900 deaths annually
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that motor vehicle crashes cost the country $242 billion a year. This is not to mention the numerous injuries and deaths caused by alcohol impaired driving and other road safety pitfalls. However, these figures are relatively modest compared to other public health concerns.
One interesting fact is that the number of fatalities on the nation’s roadways has declined by 25 percent over the past 10 years. In total, 38,824 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2020. To put that number in perspective, the number of road traffic deaths per capita in the USA is a fraction of what was estimated for the same year a century ago.
While there are several factors that contribute to the number of deaths on the road, there are a few that stand out. For example, the most common cause of death is alcohol impairment, and a lack of accessible public transportation is also a leading factor in the numbers game.
Weather-related car accidents kill more people in a year than large-scale weather disasters
It is estimated that weather-related car accidents kill more people in a year than large-scale weather disasters in the United States. This number includes deaths and injuries that occur on roads, on snowy or icy pavement, and in wet weather.
Weather-related vehicle crashes account for about one-fifth of all vehicle crashes in the U.S. These crashes involve hazardous weather, such as heavy rain, sleet, snow, and fog. The top three contributing factors to weather-related automobile crashes are wet pavement, fog, and heavy rain.
A recent study found that 15 percent of all injury crashes, and 19 percent of fatal crashes, occur during adverse weather. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 23% of property-damage-only crashes occur in bad weather.
In the US, 1.2 million vehicles crash each year, causing nearly five million injuries and over a thousand deaths. Of these, about 16 percent are weather-related, including icy pavement, wet pavement, and snowy pavement.
Economic losses caused by car accident deaths
The economic losses caused by car accident deaths in the United States are staggering. They include $57,000,000,000 in lost productivity and $23,000,000,000 in rehabilitation. These costs are just a tip of the iceberg.
Another societal impact is that of decreased quality of life. One study showed that people suffering from a crash were more likely to experience anxiety and depressive mood, along with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Other factors that contribute to the costs of motor vehicle crashes are driver distraction, alcohol-impaired driving, speeding, and other dangerous driving behaviors. Speeding alone is responsible for $119 per person in economic harm.
Alcohol-impaired driving costs $49,000,000,000. The societal impact of drunk driving includes the cost of the loss of life and productivity as well as medical expenses.
Driver distraction and inclement weather are also significant contributors to the economic losses. Road safety programs, better road maintenance, and modern technology can help reduce these risks.
In addition to the loss of life, motor vehicle crashes result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care, lawsuits, and other costs. Non-fatal injuries can have a similar effect, as a family member or loved one must take time off work to care for an injured relative.