Car accident statistics provide essential information about how we drive. The purpose is to reduce loss of life and injuries as well as determining car insurance rates. Car accident statistics also determine if changes need to be made regarding driver education and regulation. (Follow this link for more recent updates on car accident statistics for 2010 & 2011)
The motorist advocacy group AAA recently released an auto accident report just as Congress begins looking at re-authorizing federal transportation programs for 2009. AAA looked at several nationwide studies to determine the effects of car accidents. They analyzed a study conducted by Cambridge Systematics that considered such costs as emergency and police services, property damage, medical care, and lost productivity and quality of life. From the process used in the Cambridge report, AAA determined that auto accidents cost $164.2 billion each year, which is about $1, 051 annually per person. After looking at an annual traffic congestion report issued by the Texas Transportation Institute that took into account 85 urban areas throughout the United States, AAA determined traffic congestion costs the nation $67.6 billion each year, or $430 per person. According to the AAA report, urban areas with more than 3 million residents pay two times the cost of congestion for crashes, while in areas with less than 500,000 residents, the cost of car crashes rises to seven times the cost of congestion.
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The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates that nearly 300,000 Americans suffer incapacitating injuries every year as a result of auto accidents. “Nearly 43,000 people die on the nation’s roadways each year,” said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet in a report. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration said that most car accidents could have been avoided because figures showed that crashes occurred when 81% of drivers were talking, 49% were eating or drinking and 25% used a mobile phone while driving.
Car accidents are increasing
Carnegie-Mellon University released a study in 2007 which revealed a number of disturbing car accident statistics:
- There are 1.35 male deaths as opposed to .77 female deaths for every 100 million miles driven.
- Male drivers are 77% more likely to die in a car accident than women
- Male drivers 16-23 are four times more likely to be involved in a fatal auto accident than the average driver due to inexperience and lack of maturity.
As America’s highways and roads become more congested, the number of car accidents increases. It is important for drivers to be aware of the auto accident statistics so they can take preventative measures to avoid becoming a statistic.