A car accident is every driver’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, they’re also prevalent occurrences. Today, an estimated 1.3 million people die in car crashes each year or about 3,287 deaths per day. An additional 20-50 million people are injured or disabled in car accidents each year. Important information can be gleaned from looking at car accident trends that may help you avoid a potential accident or injury.
While they can feel like grim statistics, knowledge is power.
Knowing how car accidents happen and what makes them more likely can make you a safer, more aware driver.
With that in mind, here are some of the car accident trends and statistics facing drivers in 2022:
6 Car Accident Trends for 2022
Whether you commute long distances for work or only drive for simple errands, being aware of these car accident statistics can make you a safer driver:
1. Young and elderly drivers are especially at risk
Young drivers make up 3.9% of drivers on the road in the US. Still, they account for 6% of fatal car accidents.
Elderly drivers, on the other hand, have higher fatal crash rates per mile traveled than middle-aged drivers. More than 20 drivers over 65 die in traffic crashes each day, and more than 700 suffer injuries.
2. Men are more likely to be involved in fatal car accidents
According to recent data, 25,841 men were involved in fatal car accidents in 2021, compared to 10,676 women. Male drivers between the ages of 16-19 are twice as likely to die in a fatal car accident as their female peers.
3. Road crashes are the 8th leading cause of death
According to recent data, fatal crashes are the 8th leading cause of death globally, accounting for 2.2% of deaths globally. Additionally, they’re the leading cause of death among people ages 5-29 and the second leading cause of death among young people and teen drivers.
4. 10% of accidents are caused by vehicle defects or environmental factors
These vehicle defects could include faulty parts or malfunctioning electrical systems. Environmental concerns leading to crashes include slippery or wet roadways, poor visibility, and inclimate weather. Meanwhile, 90% of all motor vehicle crashes stem from user error.
5. Speeding is a significant factor in car accident trends
Speeding is a common factor in car accident deaths across populations and age groups. According to the most recent data, speeding is a factor in 26% of motor vehicle accidents that result in fatalities.
6. The 4th of July is one of the most dangerous days on the road
Studies have repeatedly found that the 4th of July is one of the most deadly days to drive. This day has one of the highest rates of motor vehicle crashes of the entire year, many of which result in injury or death.
More people die in drunk driving crashes in July than in any other month of the year. Since the 4th of July is a holiday well-known for drinking, it’s easy to see why so many people die in fatal car accidents during or after the celebrations.
How to Avoid Becoming a Statistic: Driving Tips to Help You Stay Safe on the Road
While the car accident statistics above are sobering, there are ways to lower your risk of accident or injury and be safer on the roads. Here are a few tips we recommend:
Slow down. Time and time again, research demonstrates that slowing down saves lives. Even a 5% reduction in driving speed could result in a 30% reduction in fatal crashes.
Stay up on routine maintenance. Remember, vehicle defects cause 10% of car accidents. Avoid these by keeping regular appointments with your auto mechanic and fixing problems as they arise.
Limit distractions. Distracted driving causes about 3,000 deaths each year. To keep yourself and other motorists safe, put your phone on “do not disturb” in the car, and keep other distractions – like eating or playing loud music – to a minimum.
Increase your following distance. Give the car in front of you some extra room next time you go on the road. Follow the 3-4 second rule to decrease the rate of collisions and injuries.
Stay aware of your surroundings. Practice defensive driving instead of focusing only on the road ahead of you. Stay mindful of your surroundings and be alert to possible hazards around you.
Promising News in Car Safety Technology
When it comes to road safety, it’s not all bad news. While driving remains a dangerous practice, technology is working hard to make it safer for everyone. Developments like advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) reduce accidents due to human error, while front crash prevention and rear object detection provide autonomous braking, audible warnings, and other accident prevention tactics.
Technology is also working on curve-adaptive headlights, which rotate in relation to road curves, and interior motion detection, which can help prevent kids and pets from being left in hot cars. While these advancements can’t remove the risks associated with owning and operating a vehicle, they can cut down on human error and help control the controllable, so to speak.
The bottom line? Driving is becoming safer. Even existing technology like driver monitoring systems and lane-departure warnings can reduce crashes. However, despite current and impending technology, we still need to stay vigilant out there to keep ourselves and other motorists safe. Paying attention to car accident trends can help, as can defensive driving.
Ward & Barnes: Your Pensacola Accident Attorney
Everyone wants to stay safe on the road. Still, accidents do happen. And, when they do, they can cause a great deal of pain, confusion, and stress – especially if you or someone you love was injured during the accident. Insurance companies, other drivers, and medical bills can all be challenging to navigate, and you need an experienced advocate on your side to help guide you through the process.