When you get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, you expose yourself to certain risks for serious injury sustained during an accident that have the potential to be fatal. These motor vehicle accidents can also be devastating for those hurt as well as their loved ones.
These incidents not only impact families financially but also emotionally. To ensure that we are minimizing the chances of these devastating experiences, we all need to play a role in making the roads safer. The only way this can be done is by understanding the problem and the potential risk factors to make decisions that avoid these outcomes.
The first step in motor vehicle accident prevention is understanding the problem. Vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death of Americans ages 54 and under. Despite technological advances in the last 25 years, this number has not changed much. In 2020, there were about 42,060 car crashes that resulted in death.
In total, the cumulative cost of deaths, injuries and property damage in those accidents came to approximately $474.4 billion. Even with a 13 percent decrease in miles traveled, the number of fatalities has increased by 13 percent. These numbers are not much better when you look state to state. As expected, states with higher population numbers have a higher number of accidents and fatalities.
Another step in prevention is assessing who is most at risk to be involved in a car accident and whose behaviors typically lead to these accidents. Men are more likely to be in an accident than women. Additionally, teenage male drivers are two times as likely to be in a fatal car crash than female drivers. Younger drivers are also more prone to fatalities when driving behind the wheel than drivers over the age of 75.
“When a new driver begins driving, it is important to thoroughly explain the rules of the road and defensive driving techniques,” says personal injury attorney Amy Gaiennie. “Young drivers who take extra precautions can help keep everyone safe on the roadways and establish safe driving habits that last a lifetime.”
Car vehicle accidents have many consequences both financially and emotionally. It is estimated that there will be an $834 billion loss because of accidents from 2015 to 2030. Depending on the type of coverage you have with your car insurance, individuals who are ruled at fault for an accident sometimes have to pay large sums of additional costs. When you are in a car accident, your insurance premiums will also likely go up.
Based on the fact that low and middle-income families are the most impacted by motor vehicle accidents, these increased expenses can have detrimental economic effects. Another consequence of car crashes is the emotional trauma those who are involved can suffer. Bad car crashes can induce PTSD and fear of driving for some people.
Way to Prevent Car Accidents
Now that we understand the issue at hand and the possible impact it has, we have to contemplate ways to prevent car crashes from happening. Here is a list of rules that can help reduce the number of crashes and prevent fatalities.
- Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, sleep, and/or drowsiness
- Never text, email, or use social media while driving
- Never speed or drive recklessly
- Always wear a seatbelt
- Always pay attention to street signs
These are just a few ways that we can make our roads safer. Injuries and loss of life impact families tremendously whether it be financially or emotionally. We have to all do our part to decrease the number of car crashes in the United States. When we educate ourselves on the issue and all collectively do our part, we are working in the right direction.
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