The Emotional and Physical Toll of Car Accidents in the Long Term
Getting into a car accident at a low speed can lead to severe injuries that result in years of therapy to resolve the problems. The human body is fragile inside a vehicle, so learning about the emotional and physical toll of being involved in an accident is so important. To that end, it’s essential to look at some key statistics from car accidents and the leading causes so that a person can understand their options after a wreck.
How Common Are Car Accidents?
On a yearly basis, over five million car accidents occur in the United States alone. This amounts to over 13,500 car accidents daily or 570 car accidents per hour. While not all of these car accidents will be fatal, high speeds contributed to 26% of all fatal car accidents, which shows how dangerous they can be. Certain states have higher crash rates than others, so learning statistics for your particular state is so important.
Fatalities vs. Injuries in Car Accidents
While fatalities compared to injuries are far less common in a car accident, they still account for roughly one out of every 147 accidents. This means around 34,000 of the five million average car accidents yearly are fatalities. While this may not seem like a large number on the surface, every one of those people had someone who cared for them, which makes preventing car accidents in the future all the more critical.
The best way to start reducing the risk of a car accident on the road is to identify the leading causes of accidents in the United States. Doing so can allow a person to spot the signs that an accident may be about to occur so that they can take evasive action after recognizing the signs. Below are the top five causes of accidents to be aware of:
Speeding on the Road
No driver should be driving recklessly on the roadway, but speeding accounts for a major number of car accidents. As a driver, if you see someone running on the road, it is best to leave as much space between you and them as possible. Avoid making a sudden switch to another lane, as this could cause them to react in a way that causes a significant crash at their high speed.
Hazards in the Middle of the Road
Road hazards are unfortunate and can end up anywhere on a roadway, which is why it’s so important to be vigilant as a driver. Follow the twelve-second rule of the road, which involves watching the road twelve seconds ahead of your vehicle. To use this rule, find a landmark on the road and start counting, only stopping when you reach twelve to gauge how far you should be looking.
The modern world is full of distractions, so distracted driving is a major leading cause of accidents on U.S. roadways. Whether checking a text or even eating some food while driving, being distracted is a quick way to cause an accident.
Driving in Poor Weather Conditions
Roughly 21% of car accidents on the road are weather related, going to shows the importance of practicing. Whether it’s rain, snow, heavy winds, or some other major weather condition, poor weather results in road conditions that can impact driving skills.
Driving Under the Influence
Drugs and alcohol can quickly impair a person’s judgment and lead to a car accident with serious repercussions. The best way to avoid this is to never get behind the wheel when you are under the influence of anything, even if you are not near the legal limit.
Long-term Damages Stemming from Car Accidents
More often than not, people think about the consequences of car accidents in the short term, even though there are several serious long-term effects. The most notable of these include:
- Head trauma and brain injuries: Even a tiny bump to a person’s head can damage their brain and leave them with long-lasting injuries. In severe cases, a penetrating brain injury can result in death or an injury that leaves a person with cognitive disabilities.
- Difficulty walking or moving: Serious injuries can break bones or damage joints, resulting in an inability to walk or move in the future.
- Negative psychological impacts: Beyond physical injury, getting in a car accident can cause negative psychological impacts. These impacts can include not wanting to get behind the wheel of a car or feeling a sense of fear when in the same position which caused the accident.
- Permanent disability: Finally, one of the major consequences of a car accident in certain situations is permanent disability. Whether it’s a severe injury to the body or cognitive function, a permanent disability can lead to many problems in the future.
In some cases, should insurance not cover the total costs of your accident and it was caused by the negligence of another, a personal injury lawsuit may be the best choice. This is when one person sues another for the injury they received from the accident the other person caused. If it can be proven that the person who caused the accident did so via negligence by acting so that another reasonable person would not have made the same choices, they could be held liable.
Protect yourself financially and legally today
Rather than settling for the injuries you have suffered during a car accident, consider contacting an accredited personal injury lawyer if insurance doesn’t make you whole following an accident that wasn’t your fault. Even if your accident occurred in the past, any long-lasting injuries you are experiencing now, as a result, could potentially result in damages being awarded to you in court. Speak with a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options immediately.