Accidents happen each and every day throughout the country. This makes sense when you consider that there are an estimated 143 million cars on the roads daily commuting to and from work. There are approximately 6 million accidents that take place each year in the U.S. and 90 lives will be lost in car accidents each day. Every year car accidents will cause 3 million people to be injured and more than two million will sustain serious, permanent injuries.
The most proactive way to avoid injuries and reduce the risk of ejection from a car is to wear a seat belt. Unfortunately, only one in seven people report that they do not wear a seat belt when they are driving.
Seat belts are important for every driver and occupant in a car to wear. Wearing one reduces death by 45% in an accident, and seat belts reduce the risk for injuries by 50%. Statistically, 6% of crashes in the United States will result in fatalities, 27% will result in injuries, and 72% will result in property damage. The three most common reasons behind fatal accidents include:
- Alcohol is responsible for 40% of fatal crashes
- Speeding is responsible for 30% of fatal crashes
- Reckless driving is responsible for 33% of fatal crashes
What are the Components of Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving occurs when a driver completely abandons the rules of the road, exercises poor judgment while driving, and this behavior results in an accident. Distracted driving is a form of reckless driving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes three types of distracted driving:
- Visual distractions that take your eyes off of the road
- Manual distractions that take your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive distractions that take your mind off of driving
Every day there will be nine lives lost from distracted driving and over 1,060 people injured. In the United States, one-third of drivers text while they are behind the wheel and distraction is the cause of 25% of all crashes that involve injuries. When you are using your cell phone in any capacity, you are not able to completely keep your attention on the road. Approximately 40% of American teenagers say they have experienced being in the car when the driver was using a cell phone. The brain’s ability to focus on driving is reduced by 37% when one is also using a cell phone.
Car Accident Statistics for 2019
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that in the first nine months in 2019, there were 26,730 deaths from accidents in the country. The good news is that this number is down from the same span of time in 2018 by 2.2%. In the first nine months of 2018, the total fatalities from crashes was 27,355. It could be said that a trend is emerging. During the third quarter of 2019, the country saw its eighth consecutive decline in fatalities from crashes since 2017.
While the crashes were down, the amount of time cars were on the road increased. In the first nine months of 2019, over 24 billion more miles traveled by drivers than the previous year.
The NHTSA is still putting together the crash statistics for 2018 and 2019 by using police reports and miscellaneous sources. That final data is expected to be released sometime in the fall of 2020. Luckily we do have data that is specific to West Virginia through 2018 by the NHTSA.
The total amount of fatal crashes in West Virginia in 2018 was 294 lives. There were 178 deaths on rural roads and 116 were on urban roads. That year there were 197 passengers in car accidents that died, and 70 of these individuals were not wearing proper safety restraints like a seatbelt during their fatal crash. According to the statistics 19% of the fatal crashes involved alcohol. It was estimated that 33% of youngsters aged 5 and older were unrestrained in 2018 while they were riding in a car.
Were You in a Crash in West Virginia?
A West Virginia personal injury lawyer at Goddard Law PLLC can help you with your personal injury claim when you have been wronged by a negligent party. Proving another party was legally at fault so that you can obtain the highest amount of compensation is critical. An experienced Morgantown automobile accident attorney will know how to prove the following:
- The other driver breached his or her duty of care to you through negligent or reckless behavior.
- That failure to drive responsibly is what caused the accident.
- The accident is what caused your injuries.
- You suffered significant harm and have the documentation to prove it such as medical receipts, doctor’s reports, police reports, lab results, pay stubs, etc.
When you are suffering from injuries after a car accident, you must obtain compensation to help you pay for your bills. Every personal injury claim is different, and while some can be negotiated easily to come to a conclusion within weeks, other victims are not that lucky. There may be a lot of back and forth between your attorneys and the insurance company until an agreement is reached if one can be. If an agreement cannot be reached, your case would go to trial. If you are pursuing a claim where there is a trial, the total process from start to finish could take quite a while.
There are some personal injury claims that take years to come to completion. For this reason, after you have been in an accident, the sooner you contact an attorney, the better. Not only will your lawyer be able to get your claim started sooner so you can see your compensation sooner, but there is a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims in West Virginia. Waiting too long to contact an attorney may cause you to miss the deadline for filing, which would render you virtually unable to pursue a claim to recoup your damages.
When you have been in an accident and you sustained injuries, call the resourceful and aggressive Morgantown serious injury attorneys at Goddard Law PLLC at (304) 584-1430 today to schedule your free consultation at either our Clarksburg or Morgantown offices.