Crash Course: What Recent Accident Data Says About Vehicle Safety

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that for one person killed in a vehicle crash, eight others were hospitalized, and 99 people went to the ER to be treated and released in 2017.

Recent traffic accident data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted a small decrease in American roadside deaths in 2017 (37,133) compared with 2016 (37,461). This number has been steadily increasing since 2013 before its recent drop. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao recognized this downward trend, but also expressed that there’s still work to be done to decrease roadside deaths significantly. Here’s what we can learn from recent accident data.

Weather-Related Accidents are Deadly

Winter isn’t over yet. If you’re planning to brave the icy roads, make sure to replace worn tires, check your battery for damage, and get enough antifreeze circulating under the hood. The recent polar vortex blanketed Illinois states like Chicago and Harvey in the snow. This caused drivers to deal with slippery roads and poor visibility.

According to 2007 – 2016 averages by the U.S. DOT, more than 5,891,000 crashes happened per year. It’s a scary statistic for every driver, but auto insurance often has comprehensive coverage that addresses natural disasters and collisions.

Accidents Often Happen to the Youth and the Elderly

One of the interesting contrasts we found was between teenaged and elderly drivers. According to the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety’s 2014-2015 American Driving Survey, drivers aged 16-17 crashed their vehicles more than any of the other age groups. When it comes to fatal crashes, however, the same group is tied with drivers aged 80 and above. Both groups ranked higher than others in that category, as well.

NHTSA data also says that drivers over 65 are more prone to fatal crashes than younger drivers. The next time you’re letting your teenager or your elderly parents drive, it’s best to go with them to provide guidance. Better yet, take the wheel yourself.

The Importance of Seatbelts

There are times when we take our seat belts for granted. And some of us just use them for the sake of compliance. However, this minor inconvenience actually saves lives. Almost half of the people killed in automobile accidents in 2017 weren’t wearing seatbelts. Over 89% who survived daytime crashes and 85% who survived night time ones were buckled up.

NHTSA’s seatbelt survey also found an increasing trend in the use of seat belts because a growing number of states are implementing stricter laws about it. This upward trend in seat belt use is also accompanied by a downward slope in daytime crash fatalities. It just goes to show that when it comes to driving, there’s no such thing as “too safe.”

If there’s anything that recent road safety data has taught us, it’s that safe roads are often safe because of responsible drivers. We should all do our part and keep our vehicles maintained, guide the youth and elderly when they’re driving, and follow state traffic laws by heart.

Get Your Vehicle Insured

Vehicle accidents are a pain both physically and financially. Even the smallest dents cost a fortune. We at Oxford Auto Insurance can help you get affordable auto insurance that meets your needs. Our partner companies can also provide instant proof of insurance. Visit www.oxfordauto.com now to find the right car insurance for you.