According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1.35 million people across the world die every year or 3,700+ every day because of car accidents. Others involved in road accidents who suffered minor to serious injuries are between 20 and 50 million individuals. In the U.S. alone, about 38,000 cases of fatality are due to automobile crashes.
In addition, WHO reports that car crashes have cost many countries 3% of their GDP (gross domestic product). The low-and-middle-income nations are the most affected, recording about 93% of road accidents fatalities. In terms of damage to property, road accidents have caused $800 billion in economic implications in the United States. Most of these road accidents can be avoided if the drivers take proper precautions and become vigilant of their safety.
At a glance
Here’s quick car accident statistics for 2021:
- Speeding is considered the number one cause of car accidents.
- Driving while texting or speaking on a cellphone increases the chances of being involved in a car crash by up to 400%.
- A car driver is likely to crash his car at least 3 to 4 times in his lifetime.
- In the United States, the leading killer of kids under 15 years old is car accidents.
- One pedestrian is killed due to a car crash every 1 hour and 28 minutes (88 minutes).
- A lot of car accidents happened near the driver’s home.
- 94% of road accidents are due to human error.
- Men are 3x more likely to experience fatal car crashes compared to women.
- The highest number of car accident-related deaths happened in 2018, with 96% of passengers were killed.
- Safety devices like seat belts can reduce fatalities by 45% and serious injuries by 50%.
- WHO predicts that by 2030, car accidents could be the 5th leading global cause of death based on the current statistics.
Common causes of fatal car accidents
Accidents due to the driver’s behavior
Most vehicular accidents are caused by human error because of their behavior behind the steering wheel. Speeding remains the major cause of road mishaps. For more than two decades, approximately 1/3 of the global road accidents have happened because of speeding. Even with speed limit reminders along the road, drivers tend to disregard the signs, resulting in fatal accidents.
Distracted driving ranks is another top cause of deaths and injuries. Distracted behavior because of using the mobile phone while driving is the reason for about 5% of serious vehicle crashes. Alcohol, medication, and drugs are responsible for 10% of car crashes, while failure to give the right of way and drive in the right lane accounts for about 14%. Falling asleep and drowsy driving, reckless driving, aggressive behaviors, beating the red light, and excessive lane changes are also listed as contributory factors.
Weather-related road accidents
During winter, about 17% of car accidents occurred due to slippery roads and visibility issues. While driving your vehicle in the rain cannot be avoided, especially at night time, it is best to avoid going out when there is very low to zero visibility.
In the United States, 22% of the annual 6 million car crashes are weather-related, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) report.
Accidents by time
It has been observed that there are peak periods during the day or night when car accidents happen. The contributory elements are fatigue, changing visibility, or sleepiness while on the road.
In 2018, the peak time for both fatal and non-fatal accidents was 4 pm and 7:59 pm. For non-fatal car crashes, the peak days were Fridays, while the peak days for deadly crashes were Saturdays. During the same year, 52% of car crash deaths among teenagers happened during weekends (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays), and 37% of these accidents occurred between 9 pm and 6 am.
The alarming increase of fatalities due to car accidents serves as an urgent call to everyone to become conscious and alert when they are on the road. It is crucial to follow the traffic rules, observe the driving limits, and ensure you’re in ideal physical and mental form when driving. This is to ensure the safety of everyone-yourself, your passengers, and the pedestrians.