With over 200 million drivers and nearly that many cars being operated on the streets and highways of the United States, and U.S. overseas territories, there is a high number of accidents involving cars, trucks and other motor vehicles every day of the year; on an average year, 30,000 persons are killed and an additional 2.3 million drivers and other occupants suffer non-fatal injuries.
Even though automobile manufacturers have built cars with better safety features designed to minimize the chances of death or injury, and despite increased public awareness of such issues as obeying seat belt laws, not drinking and driving, and observing speed limits, the problem of poor driver behavior still results in the majority of all car accidents. As a consequence, 15% of all emergency room admissions in the United States are traffic-related. Additionally, non-fatal injuries come with a high financial cost to the economy: on a lifetime basis, expenses related to medical care, rehabilitation, and lost productivity cost Americans an estimated $70 billion in 2005 alone.
According to the U.S.Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the biggest at-risk group of drivers or passengers is comprised of young adults aged 18-24. Of the roughly 2,317,000 non-fatal injuries caused by car accidents in 2009, this age group represented 1,939.2 per 100,000 members of the population. The second-biggest at-risk group is comprised by adults 25-34 years of age, which had a statistical incidence of 1,322.4 per 100,000 persons.
As alarming as these figures seem, the number of non-fatal car accident injuries have been decreasing over the past decade. Between 2001 and 2009, the number of reported non-lethal injuries dropped 15.6% from 1,193.8 per 100,000 to 1,007.5. In other words, there were 231,000 fewer injuries in 2009 than eight years previously.
One factor which has contributed to the decrease in traffic-related injuries is the use of seat belts and children’s car safety seats; since the adoption of mandatory seat belt laws in most jurisdictions, reported seat belt use now encompasses over 85% of drivers and passengers as of 2008. Though not a panacea for all types of vehicular accidents, the use of seat belts and child safety features has helped reduce overall non-fatal injuries significantly, even though some drivers still avoid using seat belts despite mandatory-use laws and stricter enforcement of them.
Whether you’ve have a minor or major car accident, CarAccidentLawyer.org recommends retaining a competent car accident lawyer.