What are Major Factors in Fatal Car Accidents?

A national safety organization recently examined highway driving safety laws in all 50 states to grade each state's progress toward making their roads safer. There appears much work left to be done in reducing fatal motor vehicle accidents. The organization reported that almost 33,000 people died in a motor vehicle crash in 2013.

The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is a not-for-profit alliance of several diverse consumer, health and safety organizations that focuses on motor vehicle safety laws. It recently published its 12th annual "Roadmap of Safety Highway Laws," which outlines the major safety factors facing motorists today, and a snapshot of how each state protects its drivers.

The report lists drunken driving as a top priority, citing that an average of one fatal drunk-driving crash happened every 52 minutes in 2013. The organization also said that speeding was a major factor in 30 percent of all motor vehicle accidents.

Impact of Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents

Other statistics to note from this driving safety report include:

  • 14 percent of all 2013 motor vehicle accident deaths - 4,668 people - were motorcyclists
  • Young drivers (15-20 years old) were involved in crashes that resulted in 4,333 deaths in 2013
  • There were 5.6 million motor vehicle accidents reported to police in 2013, with a societal impact of $870 billion.
  • In economic costs alone, motor vehicle accidents in Missouri mounted to $6.4 billion. In Illinois, according to the report, it was $12.6 billion

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety outline several state laws it terms "Lifesaving Laws," calling them "critical to reducing motor vehicle deaths and injuries."

These include:

  • Installing ignition interlock devices on the vehicles of those convicted of drunk driving
  • To combat distracted driving, prohibiting all drivers - regardless of age - from texting from a cellphone while behind the wheel, except for cases of emergency
  • The use of a graduated driver licensing program that will allow young drivers to responsibly gain experience and hone their skills

Overall, the report says that Missouri ranks somewhere in the middle of state driving safety laws, while placing Illinois among the top tier states.

Regardless of the breadth of driving safety laws, drivers are responsible for their own actions. Negligent drivers who ignore laws or common-sense actions often times kill others on the road. If you lost a family member in an accident caused by another driver, you may want to consult an attorney experienced in investigating fatal car crashes to review your legal rights.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.

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