Richmond Car Accident Statistics
According to car insurance experts, the average driver will be involved in a car accident approximately once every 18 years. Therefore, most drivers will be in about four car accidents over the course of a lifetime. According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 40,000 people were killed, and 4.5 million people were seriously injured in car crashes in the United States during 2018. Car accidents are so common that sometimes we fail to notice them until they affect us personally. But the fact that they are common does not mean they are unimportant.
Car accidents are costly, both financially and in human life. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, you need an experienced Richmond car accident attorney to protect your rights and help you navigate through the system. Car accident statistics can teach us a great deal about the enormity of the problem as well as suggest how we can help reduce accidents.
United States Car Accident Statistics
In 2015, U.S. drivers spent, on average, about 48.4 minutes behind the wheel every day. With 218 million licensed drivers and nearly 264 million registered vehicles, it is not surprising that in 2015 there were about in the U.S. More than 90 people die in car crashes daily, and 3 million people are injured every year, many of these suffering permanent injuries.
Typical causes of fatal accidents include:
- Alcohol (40 percent of all accidents)
- Speeding (30 percent of all accidents)
- Reckless Driving (33 percent of all accidents)
Distracted driving has also become a major cause of accidents, resulting in 3,166 fatalities in 2017. Distractions were a factor in nearly 1 in 5 crashes. Studies show that a driver is 23 times more likely to crash if texting while behind the wheel. Using a cell phone in any way reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent.
Virginia Car Accident Statistics
The 2018 publication, Virginia Traffic Crash Facts provides a comprehensive statistical overview of traffic accidents in Virginia. It shows a total of 131,848 crashes (a 3.5 percent increase over 2017). These resulted in 819 fatalities and 66,523 injuries. Of the 6,056,316 Virginia licensed drivers, on average, one driver out of 24.9 licensed drivers was involved in a crash. Studies show that a crash occurred every 4.0 minutes. Common causes were distracted, driving, alcohol use, and speeding.
In the city of Richmond, there were a total of 6,231 crashes, with 2,913 injuries and 15 fatalities.
Other Factors Affecting Car Accidents
Traffic fatalities are affected by other factors, such as the time of day, the day of the week, and the time of year. For example, car accident rates differ according to the time of day, partly because many dangerous factors increase during the nighttime hours. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that about 50 percent of fatal crashes happen on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. In 2016 the highest number of fatal crashes happened in October and the fewest in January. On average, 50 more people die in car accidents during Thanksgiving week than other weeks of the year.
Is there any good news?
The emphasis on injuries and fatalities in car accident statistics can be overwhelming. However, they provide a great deal of useful information that has been used to develop valuable safety devices such as:
- Seat belts: In 2017, seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives among passenger vehicle occupants age five and older. 37,133 people died in motor vehicle crashes. Forty-seven percent of those who died were not wearing seat belts. The proper use of seat belts could reduce fatal injuries by 45 percent and reduce severe injuries by 50 percent.
- Child safety seats: In 2017 alone, child safety restraints saved the lives of an estimated 325 children under the age of five.
- Airbags: According to the NHTSA frontal air bags saved approximately 50,457 lives from 1987 to 2017. Required since 1999, airbags are designed to inflate in a moderate to severe frontal crash. When used in combination with seat belts, they are the most effective safety protection available for passenger vehicles.
- Motorcycle helmets: NHTSA reports that motorcycle helmets saved 1,872 lives in 2017. Motorcycle helmets are approximately 37 percent effective in preventing fatalities in motorcycle drivers and 41 percent for motorcycle passengers.
- Electronic stability control: All vehicles made after 2012, including new passenger cars, light trucks, SUVs, and vans, are required to have electronic stability control (ESC). Electronic stability control was designed to help prevent rollovers and other types of crashes. Over a five year period (from 2011 to 2015), NHTSA says the ESC has saved more than 7,000 lives.
Car accident statistics also increase awareness of driving habits. To reduce the number and dangers of accidents, the National Safety Council urges motorists to:
- Use a seat belt for every occupant, every time, no matter how short the trip.
- Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 – 13. Make sure children are always properly buckled in the back seat in using the recommended restraint for their current size and age.
- Always practice defensive driving. Avoid distractions, including cell phone use. Designate a sober driver or use alternative transportation. Avoid driving when fatigued. Always pay close attention when driving.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, prescription opioids.
- Learn how to use your vehicle’s safety systems. For information, visit MyCarDoesWhat.org.
- Fix recalls promptly. To check for recalls on your vehicle, go to CheckToProtect.org.
Were You Hurt in an Auto Accident?
Being in a car accident can leave you with financial hardships and serious or fatal injuries. Tragically, many car accidents are preventable, and many are caused by the negligence of others.
There are time limits on filing personal injury lawsuits. If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, speak to an experienced Richmond car accident attorney as soon as possible. The skilled, compassionate attorneys at Emroch & Kilduff have the knowledge and resources to investigate your case, pursue your legal options, and help you achieve the best possible outcome. For questions or a free consultation, call our offices at (804) 358-1568, or contact us online.