Likelihood of Death in a Car Accident
Although it is quite common to hear about people having a fear of flying, statistically speaking, flying is much safer than driving or riding in an automobile. Exactly how much safer is it? Your lifetime risk of dying in an air/space accident is one in 5,051 and your lifetime risk of dying in a car accident is one in 84. If those were lottery odds, you would probably be playing every day. Unfortunately, people are still dying in car accidents from preventable and avoidable causes.
Fatal Car Accidents by The Numbers
• In 2010, almost one-third of all fatal traffic deaths involved alcohol-impaired drivers.
• 17 percent of traffic-related deaths of children ages zero to 14 involved alcohol-impaired drivers in 2010.
• In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers.
• From 2004 to 2008, seat belts saved more than 75,000 lives.
• In 2007, 42 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes were unbelted.
Improve Your Odds
There are a variety of ways to improve your odds when driving or riding in cars. First, you should never get behind the wheel impaired or let an impaired friend behind the wheel. Next, you should always pay attention to the road. Put your phone in the back seat. Don’t even look at it. Distracted driving puts everybody on the road at great risk. Killing somebody or losing your life over a text message isn’t worth it. Finally, as a driver or a passenger occupant, you should always buckle up. It goes without saying that practicing defensive driving techniques and observing traffic signs and signals are absolute necessities.
Automobile crashes are the number one leading cause of death for Americans. You don’t have to live in fear, but you should definitely practice safe driving behaviors and be on the lookout for dangerous drivers. Your likelihood of dying in a car accident is much greater than dying from a shark attack, a train crash or lightning strike. Keeping California roadways safe is every motorist’s responsibility. If even one driver chooses to text and drive or get behind the wheel after drinking, everybody is put at risk.