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Car accidents claim 30,000 lives in the U.S. each year

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car accidents occur about every 10 seconds in the United States. About a quarter of those accidents injure people, and 1 percent kills. The bottom line is that driving a car is among the most dangerous things any New Jersey resident can do.

With U.S. drivers averaging one car accident per decade, it is no wonder that 30,000 people die on U.S. roads every year. Although significant advances in automobile technology have made cars much safer, car accidents are still the major cause of death of teenagers, accounting for almost half of all teen deaths each year. Male teenagers are especially prone to car accidents because of aggressive driving practices, like speeding. People in the most crowded cities, such as Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and San Francisco, are the most at risk of being in a car accident.

What is the main reason behind most car accidents? Distracted driving. According to research from the American Automobile Association, 25 to 50 percent of all crashes are caused by distracted drivers. Other significant causes of crashes are drunk driving and fatigue.

Not all accidents have human causes. Inclement weather, such as heavy snowfall, ice and heavy rain, can cause accidents. In fact, 7,000 people in the United States are killed every year in weather-related crashes, according to the Federal Highway Administration. For these reasons and with the approach of winter, drivers need to exercise caution at all times when behind the wheel. They should allow plenty of room around other vehicles and reduce speed.

Any accident investigation tries to determine who was at fault. Generally, negligent drivers must pay compensation to those they injure if a civil lawsuit is filed.

Source: APP.com, "One N.J. city among top to have the most car accidents," Doyle Rice, Nov.11, 2014

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