Despite substantial improvements in technology and safety standards, road accidents are still an ever present reality. Each year nearly 6 million car accidents take place on American roads, resulting in over 39,000 fatalities, and countless more serious, life-altering injuries.
A deeper analysis of these stats and figures uncover a slew of trends, particularly certain types of accidents that are the most common, and more likely to result in fatalities. Knowing and understanding these stats help us stay safe and plan for safer roads.
In this article, we cover these common trends, with a brief primer on each of them, all aimed at deciphering the true state of American roadways, and the various steps you can take to not end up as another sobering statistic.
Single Vehicle Accident
Fortunately, or unfortunately, single vehicle accidents are the most common type of accident in the United States, often involving collisions with static objects, as a result of drunk or distracted driving, bad weather, speeding, or the combination of all these factors.
While damages and loss of life as a result of such accidents are often fairly minimal, things can take a dire turn, with deaths and life altering injuries for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, especially on expressways, depending on how fast the vehicle is traveling.
Such collisions are fairly common within city-limits, especially during peak hours when traffic is bumper to bumper. They are often caused by vehicles that follow others too closely, or by vehicles at the front braking or coming to a halt suddenly, without proper signaling.
While the rear vehicle is often found responsible for such accidents, the fault can be put on either driver after assessing the situation. Rear-end collisions are one of the most common car accidents making up almost 30% of the total crashes in the country.
A rare and complex type of accident, but one that can cause serious harm to property and life, a rollover is often a result of speeding, or distracted driving, and occasionally bad road design. More often than not, such incidents result in a fatality.
Rollovers can also be attributed to vehicle design and specifics, with some vehicles particularly prone to rolling over in the case of high speed impacts and adverse weather conditions.
Even though they are much rarer when compared to car accidents, their per-capita figures and level of fatalities deserve a place on this list. While the rate of accidents involving trucks fluctuate year-over-year, it has continued to trend upward over the past decade, with truck traffic continually on the rise.
The most common causes of truck accidents are speeding, distracted driving, substance abuse, and driver fatigue. The issue is so pervasive, that in recent years it has prompted the rise of dedicated truck accident lawyers, about which you can learn more on this personal injury law firm’s website, especially with 70% of fatalities in truck accidents being passenger vehicle occupants and pedestrians.
Angle collisions refer to vehicles running into each other at an angle, often involving perpendicular streets when one driver refuses to yield or give way to another. These collisions represent 30% of the overall crashes on US roads, and are in fact the most fatal ones.
These collisions are far deadlier compared to most others on this list, mostly because modern cars are still incapable of handling side impacts, resulting in heightened risk of injury or fatality for passengers. For the time being, the only solution in this regard is better inculcation of traffic rules and behavior among drivers.
Road accidents come in various shapes and sizes, with no two accidents being identical to one another, but the millions of accidents, and 1,000s of fatalities that occur each year can broadly be categorized into the above-mentioned types.
Analyzing and understanding these common denominators help drivers, city planners, auto manufacturers, and law enforcement work towards better and safer roads going forward.