Car Accidents. Who Causes Them? Here Are the Statistics.
There are thousands of car accidents that occur every year, and almost everyone will be involved in some type of motor vehicle wreck at one point or another. Sometimes wrecks occur due to factors beyond that of the driver; theses could be glare from the sun, some form of mechanical failure, or hazardous road conditions due to inclement weather. Although a significant number of accidents can be attributed to outlying circumstances, the vast majority of motor vehicle accidents are the results of negligence, be it a driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, distracted by their phone or radio, overly tired, or simply driving recklessly.
The Texas Department of Transportation provides detailed statistics about car accidents in the state. It is important to recognize that each of these numbers represents actual individuals, who may suffer from their resulting damages for months or even years to come.
Let’s Look at the Numbers
National statistics compiled in 2019 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation show that there were 33,244 motor vehicle accidents that resulted in a fatality. There were almost 2,000,000 accidents that resulted in injury. Texas leads the nation in the number of traffic accidents that result in death. In 2022, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) documented more than 8,000 commercial 18-wheeler accidents in Texas alone.
In Texas, there is a motor vehicle accident almost every 60 seconds and of theses accidents someone is seriously injured every two minutes, and someone dies every two hours. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2019 there were 19,506 serious injury crashes, with 30,992 serious injury victims. There were also 3,722 motor vehicle fatalities. These numbers are staggering.
So Who’s Causing The Accidents
Of course anyone of any age can be involved in a car accident. But, statistics show us that certain groups of people are more inclined to be involved in an accident. Teen drivers are one such group. Another demographic is older drivers. As our population grows older, there are more elderly drivers on the road than ever before. People tend to be healthier these days and therefore, have the ability to maintain their driver licenses for a longer period of time. One way Texas addresses this issue is to require that drivers who are 85 or older renew their driver license every two years and have their eyesight checked at each renewal. Let’s take a closer look at the demographics.
Teens vs. The Elderly
If you think teens are more dangerous drivers than senior citizens, you’re right. Statistics published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), show that teenage drivers ages 16-19 are three times more likely to be involved in an auto accident than drivers 20 and older. The United States Census Bureau shows that 12.2% of motor vehicle accidents are caused by teenage drivers, while only 7.5% percent are caused by drivers over 65.
The good news is that the gap in these numbers is narrowing, as teens become safer drivers through efforts put forward by Distraction.gov and other advocacy groups who are working to increase awareness about teen risk factors such as the use of cell phones while driving, driving with large groups of passengers, alcohol and drug use, and driving with an acceptable number of passengers.
There is also a societal change happening, and that is the fact that fewer and fewer teens are getting a driver license at a young age. Many young adults, especially those who reside in the city, are opting to not get a driver license until their 20s, or are choosing to get around using other forms of transportation like bikes and scooters, or ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft. Let’s take a look at another demographic comparison.
Women vs. Men
Women often find themselves the subject of “bad driving” jokes, but the truth is, men are the worse drivers. This can be attributed to a number of things. First, receive more traffic violations than women. Men also drink and drive more often than women and therefore receive more DUIs. Theses are factors which can and should be avoided. However, another factor that is less simpler to avoid is the fact that men operate motor vehicles in greater numbers and more often than women. In fact, they drive a whole lot more than women. While it’s true that there are over 1 million more women who have driver licenses than men, men drive a staggering 40% more than women. Some also say that men by nature are more aggressive drivers, thus causing them to be involved in more accidents. however, this cannot be proven. What can be proven is that according to the National Highway Safety Administration, men cause 6.1 million accidents per year, while women cause 4.4 million. And, statistics published by the Federal Highway Administration show that men drive an average of 16,550 miles per year, while women drive on average 10,142 miles per year.
The Ramifications of an Accident
Whatever demographic you fall into, motor vehicle accidents, especially those where one or more parties are injured, are extremely stressful. Even if no one suffers any injuries, the long-term effects of an accident can weigh heavily on your mental wellbeing. These stressors can effect your home and work life, or even hinder your confidence each time you get behind the wheel.
Dealing with the aftermath of a wreck, whether it was in a car, on a motorcycle, or involved an 18-wheeler, includes stressors beyond the actual trauma of the accident itself. When an accident occurs, you’re going to have to deal with the police, as well as the insurance company. You should never go at this alone. You need an experienced Dallas personal injury attorney to assist you with your claim and ensure you get fairly compensated. You need the Law Office of Brian Brunson. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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