2019 Car Accident Statistics: Reckless Driving vs. DWI

With an estimated 143 million cars on the road daily, it should be no surprise that accidents are relatively common. 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 severe 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 wearing a seat belt while driving.

In an accident, wearing a seatbelt reduces the chance of death by 45% and reduces the risk of injuries by 50%. Statistically, 6% of crashes in the United States will result in fatalities, 27% in injuries, and 72% 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 or exercises poor judgment that 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

Nine lives will be lost from distracted driving, and over 1,060 people will be injured every day. In the United States, one-third of drivers text behind the wheel, and distraction is the cause of 25% of all crashes that involve injuries. Approximately 40% of American teenagers admit to being in a car while the driver is texting. Given that a driver’s ability to focus is reduced by 37% while using a cellphone, this is a truly frightening statistic.


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 2.2% from the same period in 2018. In the first nine months of 2018, the total fatalities from crashes were 27,355. During the third quarter of 2019, the country saw its eighth consecutive decline in fatalities from wrecks since 2017.

While the crashes were down, the number of times cars were on the road increased. In the first nine months of 2019, drivers traveled over 24 billion more miles 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 through 2018 that is specific to West Virginia.

There were 294 fatal crashes in West Virginia in 2018. There were 178 deaths on rural roads and 116 on urban roads. That year, 197 passengers died in car accidents, and 70 of these individuals were not wearing proper safety restraints. According to the statistics, 19% of fatal crashes involved alcohol.


Were You in a Crash in West Virginia?

If you have been injured by a negligent driver, a West Virginia personal injury lawyer at Goddard Law can help you with your personal injury claim. In order to achieve the maximum compensation, we will help you prove the other party was at fault. Our experienced Morgantown car accident attorney will know how to prove the following:

  • The other driver breached their 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.

Legal compensation can help you pay for your medical bills and cover the wages you lost from missing work. Every personal injury claim is different, and while some are negotiated easily, other victims are not that lucky. If you cannot reach an agreement, your case will go to trial. If you pursue a claim with a trial, the entire process could take significantly longer.

Some personal injury claims take years to come to completion. For this reason, after you have been in an accident, the sooner you contact an attorney, the better. 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 unable to pursue a claim to recoup your damages.

If you have been in an accident and sustained injuries, call the resourceful and aggressive Morgantown serious injury attorneys at Goddard Law at (304) 584-1430 to schedule your free consultation.