Even though car fatalities have been declining since 2016, over 100 Americans die each day in car crashes. If that many people died of food poisoning or on airplanes there would be a national outcry. In spite of the positive trend, car fatalities continue to take a terrible toll on our nation. The following information discusses the reasons behind the statistics, the economic impact of car accidents, and what steps are being taken to decrease the numbers even further.
Statistics Regarding Car Accident Fatalities
According to Statistic Brain, most car crashes happen on the weekends, with Saturday accounting for 19 percent of all crashes. Monday through Wednesday are the safest days to drive with 12 percent of accidents occurring on each of these days. Even though fatal car accidents can unfortunately happen to anyone, teenagers are four times as likely to die or be hurt in a car accident as are older people. By some estimates up to eight teens die each day in drunk driving accidents.
Causes of Car Accident Fatalities
Drunk driving, speeding, and driving while distracted are the three major causes of driving fatalities. While each of these problems should be addressed, it might be better to attempt to decrease driving deaths by focusing instead on age groups. Whether it's speeding, driving under the influence, or driving distracted, teenage drivers are in the most accidents. The 16 to 19 age group are three times as likely to be in a fatal crash as those who are 20 and older.
The Economic Impact of Car Accidents
The economic impact, as well as the personal costs that result from car accidents, are hard to accurately calculate. Some estimates reach well over 100 billion annually. The reason for these astronomical costs is that the effects of fatal car crashes are far more reaching than most people realize. Not only are the damage to vehicles and the immediate medical costs staggering, but the long term implications that remain after the accident are arguably the most costly. If the primary bread winner in a family is killed in a car accident the potential income of that individual for the rest of his or her life is also lost.
Ways to Decrease Car Accident Fatalities
There have been several innovative approaches to limit the amount of fatalities caused by car accidents. Creating more divided highways will almost certainly decrease all accidents. A median separating the oncoming traffic will greatly reduce head on collisions. Even improving signs, and lighting highways could help eliminate severe car accidents. Perhaps the most effective way to decrease car accident fatalities is by taking proactive measures when it comes to teen drivers. Since statistics show that the highest amount of accidents occurs for 16 year-olds, and that accident rates increase with each passenger in the car, many states have taken positive steps to reduce these numbers. States like Pennsylvania have implemented graduated licensing laws to help ease teenagers into the driving process. Instead of receiving a driver's license that immediately entitles them to full privileges, a teen driver is initially restricted by how many passengers he or she can have and increased training is required. Requiring that a teen spend more time on a probationary license may also help reduce accidents.