There were more than 5.5 million auto accidents in the United States in 2010. Statistics for 2011, have not finalized but the numbers are sure to be as alarming. Nearly 31,000 of all these auto accidents were fatal accidents, and more than 2 million people were injured. In most fatal accidents, 61% involved only one vehicle. Approximately four children under the age of 14 were killed every day in 2010 due to an auto accident. Nearly 500 were injured daily. Motor vehicle accidents were the leading cause of death for children and teenagers in 2010. More than of auto fatalities were found to be not wearing seat belts. There were more than 4,500 motorcycle deaths and 4,300 pedestrian deaths.
Everyday an average of 30 people die in automobile accidents that involve a drunk driver. DUI accounts for almost 1/3 of all traffic fatalities. 14% of those fatalities were children under the age of 14 and of them were riding in the car with the drunk driver. Drugs caused the deaths of another 18% of traffic fatalities. These are shocking statistics that impact everyone. According to the Department of Transportation, (US), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 29% of motorcyclists involved in accidents were drunk when they had their fatal crashes.
However, the biggest danger to yourself and others is any distraction from driving activities, which include things like using a cell phone, texting, eating, applying makeup, reading maps, or anything that takes your eyes or attention off the road. Using the vehicle’s technologies, such as navigation systems, can also be sources of distraction, as is playing with the radio, changing discs etc. While any of these distractions can endanger the driver and everyone else, texting while driving is an incredibly dangerous thing because it combines all three types of the top distractions.
More than 6000 people died in crashes that were reported to involve a distracted driver and nearly half a million people were injured. Among those killed or injured in these crashes, nearly 1,000 deaths and 24,000 injuries included cell phone use and texting as the major distractions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Did you know that every five years, 25% of all licensed drivers will be in some kind of auto accident? That’s scary. Did you know that while teenagers are texting, they spend about 10 % of the time outside the driving lane they’re supposed to be in? That is even scarier.Over 60% of teens admit to engaging in some activity that will distract them from safe driving, and nearly half of those also admit to texting while driving. A study of dangerous driver behavior released in January 2007 by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. found that of 1,200 surveyed drivers, 73% talk on cell phones or text while driving. That survey also found that 19 percent of motorists say they text message while driving.
These distracted, drunk, or drugged drivers not only put themselves at risk, they put everyone in potential fatal situations. This risk extends to pedestrians and bicyclists as well. It could be your child, your husband, mother in law, friend, coworker who is injured or killed. Unfortunately, it could be those same people who caused the accident. No one is immune to these dangers. It only takes a fraction of time, a blink of an eye, and your world changes forever. Irrevocably, and forever
Statistics are numbers and make it easy to forget that these numbers represent people who have families. These facts represent real people that were loved and who loved. They have or had dreams, hopes, vacations planned, and grandchildren coming or were getting married. They had lives.
The majority of survivors of motor vehicle crashes and the families of fatalities almost always need attorneys after an accident. Depending on your role in the accident, you may need a lawyer for a lawsuit or for defense. When you are crazy with worry about a loved one or grieving, and need an attorney immediately, how do you know which attorney to choose? How do you find one? The internet is full of websites offering services or referrals. The legal industry standard is 33% contingency fee for representation in a successful accident lawsuit. Typically, an attorney will take a third of the money you win, money that you need for medical bills, long term care, or just to survive after an accident. If the attorney does not agree to a contingency fee that amount can be unaffordable hourly fees. Other issues to consider are checking to see if the attorneys are properly credentialed. Are they in good standing with the Bar Association? It’s important to know these things, but who has the attention and time to find out, when you are trying to put lives back together, or are so deep in grief that you forget to eat. Sometimes retainer fees for a defense can be the cost of a car. There are some services that check credentials and bar standing for you, and one of those sites does it for free, Shpoonkle.com, which actually connects you to validated attorneys for free, who then bid to help you. A service like this puts you in control of your costs, and allows you to take care of legal issues on your terms. For example, if you have a lawsuit worth $100,000, rather than paying the customary rate of 33% to an attorney, you could pay 20-25%. In these situations, every dollar counts to helping deal with the injuries and physical damages of an accident.
One thing is desperately needed; states that don’t have distracted driving laws need to make those laws. The states that do have the laws should actively enforce them. Drunk driving or driving under the influence or with drugs in your system should not be a “one more chance” law if injuries are involved. The victim doesn’t get another chance. We need to focus on being proactive rather than reactive when it comes to keeping people safe.