Every driver understands that car accidents could happen at any time, for any reason. We accept this risk because we believe that if we stay vigilant behind the wheel, we can help reduce the risk of an accident occurring to us. Unfortunately, we cannot control the actions of other drivers, and someone else’s carelessness could cause a serious accident that has lasting consequences.
The Roseville car accident lawyers of The Sevey Law Firm have dedicated their careers to helping accident victims in California, and we’ve seen how accidents happen. We also know the impact that an accident can have on your life. We’ve compiled five shocking facts that help illustrate how serious car accidents are for drivers and passengers in California and across the United States.
10 people die in car crashes each day in California alone
Every once in a while, we might see an accident reported on the local news or shared on social media, but it is easy to forget that traffic fatalities are a constant reality. An analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) showed that in 2016 – the last year for which data is available – 3,623 people were killed in accidents on California roads. That is an average of nearly ten deaths per day, or one death nearly every other hour. Traffic fatalities in California account for almost one in ten traffic fatalities in the United States as a whole. In fact, California ranks second among all states in the Union in the number of car accident deaths, just behind Texas, and with no other states coming anywhere close.
Car accidents are the number-one cause of death for teens in the United States
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes kill more Americans aged 16-19 each year than any other cause. Much of this trend is likely due to teens being inexperienced behind the wheel, but another contributing factor is teens’ troubling tendency to mix alcohol and texting with driving. If you are the parent of a teen driver, you can help them stay safe by teaching them the dangers of drunk and distracted driving. Make sure they know to get a safe ride home if they ever use alcohol or drugs, and to leave their phone alone and keep their eyes on the road.
Missing just two hours of sleep a night doubles your risk of being in a car accident
According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a lack of sleep can have a dramatic effect on drivers’ crash risk. Drowsy driving is so dangerous because being tired makes a person less alert and aware of their surroundings, and worsens their reaction time when the unexpected happens. The AAA study showed the following increases in crash risk for drivers who got less than the recommended seven hours of sleep each night:
- Six to seven hours: 1.3 times more likely to crash
- Five to six hours: 1.9 times more likely to crash
- Four to five hours: 4.3 times more likely to crash
- Less than four hours: 11.5 times more likely to crash
Each of these numbers is compared to the crash risk of a driver who gets seven hours of sleep each night. You may not think that staying up a little late will have much of an impact on your life, but when your sleep starts to affect your alertness during the day, it can put you and other drivers on the road in danger.
Drunk driving accidents kill one American every 50 minutes
Practically everyone these days knows that drunk driving is dangerous, but did you know how much of a problem it still is? According to the CDC, drunk driving accidents kill 29 people in the United States each day. If that’s not shocking enough, think of it another way – one American dies every 50 minutes in a drunk driving accident. While there is now a greater public awareness about the dangers of drunk driving than there was a few decades ago, we’ve still got a long way to go in reducing this huge national problem, particularly among teenage drivers. If you have been hit by a drunk driver, you may be able to hold them liable for your injuries in a personal injury suit.
Car accidents cost Americans nearly $1 trillion each year
A 2014 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that in a single year, car accidents caused $871 billion in economic losses in the United States. This number is a total of all of the estimated costs of car accidents, including loss of life, lost wages, property damage, medical bills, costs to government agencies, and more. While individual victims sometimes recover compensation for these costs in personal injury suits, car accidents are still a huge drain on the national economy as a whole. All of the money spent dealing with the aftermath of car accidents has got to come from somewhere.
Contact a Roseville Car Accident Lawyer Today
Car accidents are devastating for victims and families alike. If your life has been impacted by a serious car accident, you are not alone. You may be suffering physically, emotionally, and financially, but a successful personal injury claim can help you and your family recover significant compensation for your injuries. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car accident in Roseville, the personal injury attorneys at The Sevey Law Firm are here to help. We understand the personal trauma and tragedy behind the national problem of car accidents, and we have the experience and skill needed to hold negligent drivers accountable for the suffering they’ve caused. For more information on how we can help, and to set up a free consultation with a Roseville car accident lawyer, call now at (916) 788-7100 or contact us online today.