It’s likely you know someone who was in a car accident. You, yourself, may have gone through the experience and are looking for options to aid in your recovery. Auto accidents are a common occurrence. Every day, there are thousands of car accidents all over the country. As a result, 20 to 50 million people are injured, and around one million victims lose their lives. But, how many times in your life will you be involved in a collision?
It’s not always possible for a driver to avoid a wreck with another vehicle. There are factors, like poor road conditions and inclement weather, that make it difficult or impossible for drivers to control their vehicles. In most situations, however, wrecks are completely preventable and occur as a result of human error or negligence.
It’s likely that you will find yourself dealing with the ramifications of an automobile crash at some point in your life or even multiple times. According to an article in Forbes, the insurance industry states that the average person will experience an auto collision once every 18 years roughly. This means that most people will experience multiple accidents in their lifetime—even if they are minor.
There are a number of factors that go into determining the average number of car accidents per a person’s lifetime. In order to understand why it’s likely a person will experience multiple car accidents over the course of their life, it’s important to look at who is at risk, what the risk factors are, and where and when it’s most dangerous to drive.
The Average Number of Car Accidents in a Lifetime
While the information that a person can expect to be in three to four collisions over the course of their lifetime may seem surprising, there are many facts to consider. The first is that drivers who are more reckless can be expected to experience more accidents than drivers who drive defensively.
In Maryland alone, there were 114,848 crashes in 2017, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation. Of those collisions, 79,813 resulted in property damage, 34,518 injured vehicle occupants, and 517 of the accidents were fatal. Over 51,000 individuals were injured and nearly 600 lost their lives.
This number of accidents may seem surprising, but Maryland is actually one of the safer states to drive in. If you do, however, find yourself in a crash, you’ll want to contact an attorney as soon as possible, so your claim can be filed efficiently and correctly. Part of that claim will be providing evidence as to why you believe the other party caused your accident. Understanding who is most at risk for a wreck can help you support your side.
Understanding Who Is Most at Risk for a Car Accident
While many drivers are responsible behind the wheel, there are certain personal factors that put individuals at more of a risk for causing or winding up in a collision. Occupation, driving habits, age, and temperament all play a role.
Individuals who drive for work, whether they drive a company vehicle or commute a significant distance every day, are at an increased risk for a wreck. This is because of the simple fact that they are on the road more. A driver who becomes too comfortable behind the wheel may be prone to distractions. If the commute is long, they may eat behind the wheel, take phone calls, or check their email. Whenever someone isn’t fully focused on the road, an accident can happen. People who drive company vehicles may be unfamiliar with the vehicle they need to use for work, which can also lead to a crash—especially in parking lots.
It’s no surprise that younger, inexperienced drivers are at an increased risk of getting into an accident. Young drivers may overestimate their skill level, speed if they manage time poorly, or use their seat belt less often than someone with more experience. Older drivers, however, are also just as likely to end up in an accident. As a person ages it’s normal for vision and reaction times to decline.
There are also certain people who are more inclined to anger quickly behind the wheel. When someone experiences road rage, they may swerve, speed, or pass illegally. Poor driving behaviors can quickly result in a collision.
Common Car Crash Risk Factors
Being aware of the common risk factors associated with car accidents is important. Many people are in collisions because they are unaware that what they are doing behind the wheel is as dangerous as it is. Speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, road conditions, and weather are all contributing factors to many crashes.
When a driver speeds, they automatically have less control over their vehicle. In the event they need to stop quickly or take a sharp turn, they could hit the vehicles around them. When someone consumes alcohol and gets behind the wheel their ability to make good decisions and comprehend their surroundings decreases. Distracted driving is also a problem. Almost everyone travels with a phone and navigational system. Technology, while useful, takes drivers’ eyes, minds, and hands away from the car.
In some cases, there are outside elements that cause accidents. When roads are neglected and potholes form, bridges weaken, or guardrails collapse, drivers are put in unknown danger. Inclement weather, like snow, ice, or rain, can be especially dangerous for larger vehicles like trucks.
When Is the Most Dangerous Time to Drive?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are certain times and days when you’re more likely to find yourself dealing with a car accident. Many are associated with holidays and rush hour times. It’s important to be aware of these times, so you can be on the lookout for potential hazards when you’re behind the wheel.
For teenagers and inexperienced drivers, the most dangerous days to drive are during the typical summer vacation—May through August. One of the reasons this is the case is because teens are most likely to drink and drive during this time. In addition to that, there’s also a chance they will engage in distracted driving behaviors like texting.
The most dangerous holidays to drive during include the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, during the Christmas and New Year period, and Labor Day. Like with the teens in the summer, there are more instances of intoxicated driving. The most DUI arrests are typically made between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
Overall, it’s generally more dangerous, especially on interstates and freeways, to drive from 3-6 p.m. This is because many people are leaving school and work. The increased traffic contributes to many accidents. Driving at night can also be dangerous when people speed.
The Different Types of Road Hazards
Depending on where you’re driving, there are different types of hazards. There are unique dangers associated with driving in urban and rural areas. Being aware of both can make you a more vigilant driver.
If you’re in an urban area like Baltimore, the speed limits are generally lower when you’re driving through the city or residential areas. It’s crucial to abide by these limits to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe. Rather than looking straight ahead, you’ll want to scan the entire area to look for cars leaving parking spaces and children running into the road. It’s also important to be cautious at intersections. You never know when a negligent driver is going to disregard the vehicle that has the right-of-way.
Traveling in rural areas is completely different. Instead of driving slowly with traffic on all sides, you’ll most likely be on winding roads with limited visibility. The speed limits are typically higher, which can be dangerous around sharp bends. It’s important to adjust your speed limit as you drive, so you retain control of your car. You’ll also want to be on the lookout for slow moving vehicles and animals.
We’re Here to Help You Recover
As you can see, it’s not uncommon for a person to experience multiple car accidents in their lifetime. This, however, does not make the situations any easier to deal with. That is why our lawyers are prepared to take on the legal burdens for you and work to get you the compensation you need to recover.
If you’re ready to take legal action, get in touch with our law firm today. One of our lawyers will provide you with a free case evaluation, so you have an idea of the validity of your case and how you should proceed.
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