The Likelihood Of Being Injured In A Car Wreck

Anytime you get behind the wheel of a car, there’s always going to be a risk that you may be involved in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence. Of course, there are many different factors that will come into play when trying to calculate your chances of getting injured in a car accident.

Some of these factors will include your age, location (urban or rural), the type of motor vehicle you are traveling in, weather and road conditions, miles you travel in your motor vehicle, among many others. On average, there are three million people injured every year from vehicular collisions in the United States – but of course, not everyone gets hurt in a car crash. So what exactly are the odds of getting injured in a car accident?


Numbers of Car Accidents Every Year in the United States

In America, there are an average of 6 million car accidents every year, and more than 90 people die every day in a car accident. This means that there are more than 38,000 people that die every year due to a car crash. The traffic fatality rate for the United States is 12.4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. This rate is nearly twice as much as the average of other developed countries. 

Out of these accidents, around 2 million drivers will experience permanent injuries every year. And somewhere around 4.4 million people will sustain injuries severe enough to land them in the hospital. These car crashes have an economic and societal impact of over 8 billion dollars every year.


Statistics Regarding Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Rooms

There is no reliable data that shows the number of individuals receiving minor injuries that they do not even need to take medical aid or visit the emergency room. The best we can do is try to make an estimate based on national averages. On average, the CDC estimates that a car collision resulting in an emergency room visit will cost an average of $3,362. The hospitalization cost for these injuries is an average of $56,674. Often, car accident victims will need a skilled car accident attorney to help them get all the money back from these extensive medical bills.

For every fatality, eight people in a car crash receive inpatient treatment at the medical facility. Whereas, there can be 100 other people who receive treatment at the emergency room and then get released to go home. 


Accident Death Statistics

According to CDC reports, in 2019, approximately 37,559 Americans lost their lives due to car wreck accidents. Traffic crash injuries are the eighth leading cause of death globally for all ages, and the leading cause of death around the world for individuals aged 5-29 years old. More people die around the world every year due to car crashes than die from HIV/AIDS.  

Injuries sustained in car wrecks are categorized by the CDC as “Unintentional Injuries”. In America, unintentional injuries are currently the fourth most common cause of death. These unintentional injuries comprise of:


Car Wreck Injury Statistics by Age

The CDC has compiled data on the top ten injury causes that require emergency room visits. These injuries are accidental, meaning unintentional and non-fatal. For 2019, motor vehicle accidents were in the top ten leading causes of injuries that led to an emergency department visit for all ages except those under the age of 5. 

For the other age groups, injuries from motor vehicles were ranked:

  • Ages 5-9: 7th highest reason for an ER visit
  • Ages 10-14: 5th highest
  • Ages 15-24: 3rd highest
  • Ages 25-34: 2nd highest
  • Ages 35-44: 5th highest
  • Ages 45-64: 6th highest
  • Ages 65+: 4th highest
  • And ranked the 3rd highest for all ages

As you can see, the rate of injuries that necessitate an ER visit rises from 7th highest reason at age 5, to the 2nd highest for ages 25-34, then drops back down again until age 65, when it goes back up again. For all ages, on average, motor vehicle collisions are the third most common cause of visiting the emergency room for non-fatal injuries.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash


Are You More Likely To Be in a Car Wreck in an Urban Area or a Rural Area?

Urban areas and rural areas have vastly different characteristics on their roads, including usage, traffic patterns and controls, and density of road networks. Therefore we can of course expect to see different outcomes with injuries in urban areas versus rural areas. Although you might assume that urban areas would automatically have more accidents due to the increase in traffic, it’s not quite as straightforward as that. 

For example, pedestrian and bicyclist deaths, and deaths at intersections are much more prevalent in an urban environment, rural areas actually have a much higher rate of passenger vehicle occupant deaths, large truck occupant deaths and deaths on high speed roads.


Statistics on Car Wrecks in Urban Areas Versus Rural Areas

Roughly 19 percent of people in the United States live in rural areas, and around 30 percent of vehicle miles traveled occur in these rural areas. Yet nearly half of all crash deaths in the United States occur in rural areas. In 2019, the rate of crash deaths per 100 million miles traveled was about twice as high in rural areas as it was in urban areas. 

In 2019, rural areas saw:

  • 70 percent of all large truck occupant deaths
  • 68 percent of pickup occupant deaths
  • 55 percent of SUV occupant deaths

Urban areas saw:

  • 70 percent of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
  • Majority of motorcyclist deaths

Also, each state has different guidelines and laws for how long you have until you can file for a lawsuit. Get in touch with a San Diego car accident lawyer if you got hurt in a car collision to take guidance on your legal rights in the different parts of California. If you miss this duration, you won’t be eligible to and get compensation for your damages.


Where Do Fatal Car Wrecks Happen?

The United States Department of Transportation Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) keeps data on exactly where car wrecks have occurred in both urban and rural environments. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has summarized this data and offers the following analysis of where exactly a fatal accident is likely to occur. 

Crashes in rural areas are less likely to occur on interstates and freeways as compared to urban areas. In rural areas, crashes are more likely to occur on collector roads and local roads. Only 16 percent of crash deaths in rural areas occur at intersections, whereas 33 percent of fatal crashes in urban areas occur at intersections.

In a rural environment, 71 percent of crash deaths occur on roads with speeds of 55 mph, whereas only 29 percent of crashes in urban areas occur on these types of roads, although speeding as a cause of fatal crashes has thankfully been on a downward trend in both rural and urban environments since 2010. 


What To Do if You Are Injured in a Car Wreck?

Of course, there’s never any guarantee as to whether or not you’ll be injured in a car wreck. If your accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, you have every right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver. Personal injury lawsuits can help you not only cover the cost of your medical bills, but also help compensate you for lost income, as well as damages for any pain and suffering you may have endured as a result of the accident. 

The team of Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers Thistle Law can provide you guidance on your legal rights after a car accident with a free consultation. Our experienced legal experts can help you determine if you have standing to bring a case, as well as help you estimate what your settlement could look like. Contact our office today by calling 215-525-6824 or reach out online by filling out our form here.


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