It is difficult to estimate how many car accidents actually occur every year because less serious or non-fatal car accidents are occasionally not reported. The United States Census Bureau has attempted to track the number of accidents and how many people are injured or killed. The Department of Transportation generally provides these statistics.
The Census Bureau, however, stopped tracking this in information in October of 2011. The most up-to-date information currently available only extends to 2012, and is provided by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
In 2012, there were an estimated 5,615,000 highway accidents. But that number does not include accidents that occur in neighborhoods or parking lots, for example. Highway accidents are usually the most serious type of accident, so they are easier to track. Some estimates of total accidents including the more minor ones are as high as 10 million per year.
The following table briefly summarizes the most current statistics for each type of vehicle.
*Created using data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Deaths and Injuries Related to Car Accidents
Deaths and injuries are usually easier to estimate, but not everyone will go to the hospital or doctor following an accident. Deaths that occur later but are still likely because of the crash may not be documented well either. However, several federal and international agencies track this type of information.
- In 2013, there were 30,057 fatal motor vehicle crashes where 32,719 deaths were reported.
- More recent numbers estimate that car accidents deaths are around 37,000.
- Roughly 2.35 million people are injured or disabled following a car accident.
- Over 1,600 children under 15 years old die in car accidents or as a result of car accident each year.
How Likely Are You to be Involved in an Accident?
The vehicle insurance industry estimates that you will file an insurance claim about once every 17.9 years. That means that over your lifetime, you are likely to be involved in at least three or four accidents. Very young or novice drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident. Other factors may also increase your risk of being involved in an accident:
- Driving while impaired – This includes the usage of alcohol and drugs, and even sleep deprivation.
- Driving during the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays – This is considered the deadliest three-hour period on the road.
- Speeding – Nearly one-third of all accidents are caused because one or more drivers were traveling above the speed limit or too fast for the current road conditions.
- Distracted driving – Keep your eyes on the road, and assume that other drivers may not be following this rule; practice defensive driving.
Accident Costs Add Up
Even if an accident is minor, it can be expensive. In 2010, the average insurance claim for a car accident (to cover injuries of both drivers and anyone else involved in the accident) was $23,450. Most of those claims are usually medical expenses.
- Motor vehicle accidents cost each person in the United States an average of $820 per year.
- Accidents cost Americans $230.6 billion per year.
- Accidents that result in death cost the United States $41 billion in medical and lost work costs alone.
- In Florida, deaths from motor vehicle accidents cost $40 million in medical costs and $3.12 billion in lost work costs, totaling $3.16 billion (2010).
Contact the Law Team at Fetterman & Associates, PA
The most common reason that our clients file a personal injury or wrongful death case after a car accident is because insurance will not cover all of their medical expenses or lost wages.
Our car accident lawyer understand the significant financial toll that a serious car accident can take on a family or even an individual. If you have been injured in the West Palm Beach area, contact us by calling 561-845-2510 or using our online contact form.