Most people probably don’t think about the prospect of getting into a car accident over the course of their lifetime, unless they experience a catastrophic collision that kills or disables a friend or loved one. If you get your license by the age of 16, the odds are definitely good that you will get into some sort of collision in your lifetime. And if you have a long driving lifetime—where you get your driver’s license at age 16 and continue driving into your retirement years, typically you’ll average three to four car accidents in this time. The average rate of getting into a collision is every 17 to 19 years.
The good news, however, is that the chances are also such that the crashes won’t be deadly.
There are, on average, over 10 million car crashes every year and the average is only 3 fatalities per 1000 accidents. Although auto body repair is always needed due to these accidents, cars and car parts can be replaced, people can’t.
The Costs of a Car Accident
Obviously, the biggest cost is the loss of human life. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did a study in 2010, which was released in 2014 and said that car accidents cost almost $1 trillion in loss of productivity and loss of life. The auto industry has made steady improvements in vehicle safety over the last several decades but there were still over 40,000 traffic fatalities in 2017. This is surmised to be due to several factors:
- Distracted driving. Texting has become a pervasive hazard along with even talking on your cell phone, eating and other causes that cause the driver to not be focused on the road and other traffic.
- Speeding. This continues to be a problem nationwide as speed limits have been lifted—sometimes substantially in some states—and yet people still tend to exceed these limits, thus causing a traffic hazard.
- Not using seatbelts. It’s taken for granted by most people to buckle up when getting into a car but there are still traffic fatalities that could have been prevented simply by the use of seatbelts.
Financial Costs of Car Accidents
According to a blog by law firm Tavss Fletcher the costs for a car accident are summarized below:
“Motor vehicle accidents average costs:
- Average cost for each death in a motor vehicle accident: $1,130,000
- Average cost for each nonfatal disabling injury: $61,600
- Average cost for each property damage crash (includes non-disabling injuries): $7,500
Motor vehicle accident costs by severity:
- Average economic cost for incapacitating injury crash: $65,000
- Average economic cost for non-incapacitating evident injury crash: $21,00
- Average economic cost for possible injury crash: $11,900”
How to Lessen Your Chances of Being in a Car Accident
Although statistically you’re chances of avoiding a car collision are very low there are some things you can do to lessen your chances. Here are 5 things you can do to avoid a collision:
1. Keep your eyes on the road. When you’re driving, you should be focused on the road, your surroundings and other cars—and nothing else.
2. Never use your cell phone. When driving, it’s best to put your cell phone on mute and put it where you can’t see it. This way you’re not tempted to answer a call if it comes in, text or even see what’s going on on your social media at red lights.
3. . Never eat or drink when you drive. This takes focus and concentration to pick up your food and/or drink and can distract you from driving.
4. Avoid construction areas. Although this can be difficult as road construction is common, avoid construction areas when you can. Orange pylons (cones) that guide you through a different route or detour can be confusing to many drivers and lead to collisions.
5. Follow speed limits. This alone can prevent many accidents. When you drive at slower speeds you’re more in control of your vehicle and have more time to react to situations such as stopped vehicles or other obstructions in the roadway.
If you’re in a collision of any type, please call us at 480-428-2783. We’re here to help and take pride in restoring your car to its pre-accident condition.