The Aftermath of 800 Car Accidents
Every day, there are an estimated 800 car wreck in the United States. That’s one wreck every minute and a half. And while many of these are minor fender-benders, tens of thousands of people are injured or killed in car wrecks each year. Car wrecks are a leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 34. They’re also the leading cause of death for teenagers.
The good news is that car wrecks are preventable. There are steps you can take to make sure you and your family members are safe on the road. But first, it’s important to understand the causes of car wrecks so you can avoid them.
One of the leading causes of car wrecks is distracted driving. Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention away from the task of driving. Eating, talking on the phone, texting, changing the radio station, and even talking to passengers are all distractions that can lead to a wreck.
In 2018, distracted driving killed more than 2,800 people and injured 400,000 more. That’s an increase of 8% over 2017. One reason for this increase is the growing popularity of cell phones and other devices that can be used while driving. According to a survey by AAA, nearly 80% of drivers say they’ve used their phones while driving in the past 30 days—despite the fact that 96% acknowledge it’s a dangerous behavior.
Another major cause of car wrecks is drunk driving . In 2018, 10,511 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes—that’s one person every 48 minutes . That means that 29% of all traffic deaths were caused by drunk drivers . Drunk driving isn’t just illegal; it’s also dangerous and irresponsible. If you’re going to drink, don’t get behind the wheel .
Speeding is another major contributor to car wrecks. In 2018 , speeding killed 9,378 people—that’s one person every 53 minutes . Speeding doesn’t just mean going over the posted speed limit; it also means driving too fast for conditions like rain, snow, ice, or fog. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , 37% of male drivers who were killed in crashes in 2017 were speeding at the time . So if you’re tempted to put the pedal to the metal when you’re running late or just in a hurry, remember: faster isn’t always better . Obeying posted speed limits and driving at a safe speed for conditions will help keep you—and everyone else on the road—safe .
In addition to speeding, distracted driving is another big factor in car accidents. Distracted driving can take many forms—texting, talking on the phone, eating, putting on makeup, changing music—but no matter what form it takes , it can have deadly consequences . According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , 3,166 people were killed in distracted driving crashes in 2017 . So it’s important to stay focused while you’re behind the wheel and keep your eyes on the road at all times.
Finally, impaired driving—driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs—is a major factor in car accidents. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving , 10,874 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2018, and that number doesn’t even account for the thousands more injured or affected by these crashes . So if you’ve been drinking, it’s best to leave your car keys at home and take a taxi instead.