What Are the Odds of Dying in a Car Accident?
September 3, 2021 | Sagi Shaked
Many factors determine your odds of dying in a car accident. For example, if you rarely travel by motor vehicle, your odds may be lower than someone who is on the road each day. However, the National Safety Council took a look at the overall lifetime odds of death for several causes.
In the United States, the average person’s odds for dying in a motor vehicle crash is 1 in 107. You have greater odds of dying from suicide, a fall, or opioid overdose.
If you ride a motorcycle, your odds of dying are 1 in 899. Pedestrians have a 1 in 543 chance of dying. Bicycling seems the safest form of travel, with just 1 in 3,825 odds of dying in a bicycle accident.
Can You Reduce Your Risk of Being in a Motor Vehicle Accident?
Florida drivers were involved in more than 401,800 traffic crashes in 2019. No one can account for all factors that could contribute to the cause of a car accident. For example, you have no control over road conditions or what other motorists may choose to do while driving.
You can take steps to reduce your risk of a car crash by modifying your driving behaviors.
Some road safety tips you might want to consider:
- Always follow the speed limit
- Reduce speed in heavy traffic, poor weather conditions, or other dangerous driving conditions
- Obey all traffic laws, signs, and signals
- Never operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Get plenty of rest and sleep before you drive
- Avoid driving when you are angry or emotional
- Keep your car maintained, especially your tires, brakes, and windshield wipers
- Avoid all distractions so you can focus on the road and traffic conditions
- Do not give in to road rage or aggressive driving
Wearing your seatbelt each time you are in a vehicle can reduce the risk of injuries and death in a car accident. Always secure children in child safety seats that are appropriate for their age, weight, and height.
Why Do Car Accidents Happen?
Most car accidents are the result of negligence. Some factors might be outside of a driver’s control. However, many car crashes are due to a driver’s carelessness or intentional recklessness.
Examples of causes of car accidents include:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Drowsy driving
- Improper lane changes
- Road rage or aggressive driving
- Following too closely or tailgating
Each of the above driving behaviors is a choice. Sadly, many car accidents could be avoided if drivers made better driving decisions.
When a driver is negligent, the driver fails to use a level of care that a reasonable person would have used in the same or similar situation. For example, a reasonable person would not get behind the wheel of a car while impaired. Likewise, a reasonable person would not speed through a school zone or change lanes without checking to see if a car is in the lane.
What is the Basis for a Reasonable Person?
A jury decides what level of care a reasonable person would have used, given the facts of the case. Therefore, this standard is decided on a case-by-case basis. If the jury decides that a driver’s conduct fell short of the reasonable person standard, the jury might find that the driver was negligent in causing the car crash.
However, the victim must also prove that the driver’s conduct was the cause of the accident before the victim may recover compensation for damages.
Damages in a car accident claim could include:
- Lost wages and benefits
- Cost of medical care and treatment
- Physical pain and suffering
- Cost of personal care
- Impairments or disabilities
- Loss of future earning potential
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
A negligent driver could be financially liable for the damages caused by a car accident. A Miami car accident lawyer can review your case and advise you of your legal options for filing an accident claim.
What if I Did Not Sustain Serious Injuries in a Car Accident?
Florida requires drivers to maintain no-fault or PIP insurance. No-fault insurance pays you regardless of who caused the car crash. You do not need to prove negligence to receive your PIP payments.
However, PIP coverage only pays for a portion of your medical bills and lost wages. It does not compensate you for any other damages. Therefore, if you sustained serious injuries because of a car wreck, it is still wise to seek legal advice regarding a potential claim or lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash.