While nobody wants to get into one, car accidents are a fairly common occurrence and happen by the thousands every day across the country. Recent data suggests that over 38,000 people die on average every year in car accidents. That number certainly is high, but the good news is that for a number of reasons—graduated license laws and advanced safety technologies among them—car accident deaths are trending downward.
Of course, not every accident ends in death. In fact, only a small minority are fatal. A more common outcome of a car accident is an injury that requires medical attention. As recently as 2009, there were 4.5 million injuries caused by car accidents.
But the most common type of car accident of all leaves no one dead or even injured. Every year there are many more car accidents that result in damage to the vehicles involved while the occupants of those vehicles escape unscathed.
Obviously, not all car accidents are created equal and a fender bender will be much easier to deal with than an accident where you or someone you love is injured or killed.
An Accident Every 18 Years
An article in Forbes answers the question of how many car accidents the average person will get into by examining data released by insurance companies. According to industry data, a person gets into a car accident about once every 18 years.
Assuming a person starts driving when they are sixteen years old and continues on into their old age, they might get into anywhere from 3-4 accidents. Of course, these are the numbers for drivers. Theoretically, the numbers are higher for simply being in the car since individuals are passengers in cars from the time they are born.
Whether a driver or a passenger, being in a car accident is something just about everyone will have to deal with at one time or another. With that in mind, it is important to think about prevention and what to do when an accident occurs.
Preventing Car Accidents
Just because the numbers say you will be in 3-4 car accidents in your life does not mean you have to be a statistic. Drivers who make poor choices and drive while distracted are probably in more than 3-4 accidents in their lives while those who make wise decisions on the road are probably in fewer.
To minimize your odds of being in an accident you should:
- Always drive the speed limit or lower
- Never look at your phone while you are driving
- Follow all laws when behind the whee
If you do those things there is a decent chance you will be in fewer than 3-4 accidents in your life. However, even if you are a defensive driver and always make good choices on the road you still might get in an accident. You aren’t responsible for the behavior of others and sometimes their negligence can cause you to be in an accident.
To reduce the damage caused if you are in an accident you should:
- Wear a seatbelt
- Make sure your car is insured
- Make sure all the safety features of your car are in working order
By making sure you and everyone with you are belted in, you can increase the likelihood that you will walk away from an accident.
What To Do if You Are in an Accident
If you have been in an accident, after seeking proper medical attention, it is a good idea to contact a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will be able to defend your rights and make sure you maximize your claim.
If the other driver is at fault for the accident you might even be able to seek compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering you endured from the accident.