If you drive an automobile, chances are you’ve been in an accident at one point or another, or at the very least, you know people who have. Getting behind the wheel of an automobile is by far the most dangerous thing most people do every day. In the vast majority of cases, automobile accidents are caused by human error. This can include being distracted, being an inexperienced driver, or being overly confident in one’s abilities and making mistakes.
Let’s take look at auto accidents by the numbers and some of the most common types of auto accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), each year approximately 40,000 people are killed in automobile crashes in the US; they are also the number one cause of death for people between the ages of one and 34. The most dangerous month of the year for auto accidents is August, while the most dangerous day of the week is Saturday. Driving at night is significantly more dangerous than driving during the day—the fatality rate per mile of travel at night is three times as high as during the day, and 54% of crashes at night are alcohol-related.
The Most Common Types of Auto Accidents
- Rear End Accidents: A rear-end accident occurs when one car collides into the back of the car in front of it. The NHTSA estimates that rear-end collisions account for 29% of all accidents. Rear-end collisions are mainly caused by distracted drivers, which includes drivers who are engaged in activities such as texting, eating, and grooming. In fact, a full 64% of those involved in rear-end accidents were not looking at the road at the time of the crash. It might sound simple, but paying attention to your surroundings can significantly reduce your risk of being in a rear-end accident.
- Hydroplaning: Hydroplaning occurs when you drive through standing water. In order to maintain contact with the road, your tires have to push water out of the way. If the car’s speed increases to the point where the water cannot be pushed away quickly enough, a thin layer will remain, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle and crash. To avoid hydroplaning, drive slower after it rains. You should also check your tire treads regularly to ensure that they are not worn down. If you do start hydroplaning, do not slam on your breaks; instead, apply steady pressure to the breaks to allow the car to gradually coast down to a slower speed.
- Animal collisions: The risk of colliding with an animal increases when driving in rural areas, especially at night. While it may not seem like such a big deal, hitting an animal can cause serious damages to your vehicle or even to persons inside the vehicle. To avoid hitting animals, take extra caution when driving at night and in rural areas by using your high beam lights and following the speed limit to make sure you have time to stop if an animal jumps out in front of you.
- Side-impact crashes: Also known at “T-bone crashes,” these account for 27% of passenger vehicle deaths in the US. They occur most often in intersections where one driver fails to yield to the car that has the right-of-way and impacts the side of the vehicle. To avoid side-impact crashes, always look both ways for oncoming cars when you have the right of way and be sure to make complete stops at stop signs and lights.
Contact an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney Today for a Free Case Evaluation
If you’ve been involved in an automobile accident and suffered injuries, you may have a claim against the other driver. Contact the attorneys at Slappey & Sadd for a free consultation to discuss your case by calling 404-255-6677. We serve the entire Atlanta metropolitan area, including Fulton County, DeKalb County, and Cobb County.