Fatal Traffic Accident Statistics in 2009

Traffic accidents are easily the most preventable cause of unintentional death and injury but statistics show that it is not so easily averted.

The most recent traffic accident statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveal that:

  • Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among Americans aged 3-34 years old.
  • Every year, the total societal cost of crashes exceeds $200 billion.
  • While 2009 yielded the lowest number of fatalities since 1975, as many as 33,808 people lost their lives in traffic accidents.
  • Fatal traffic accidents statistics are made up of the following:
  • Passenger vehicle occupants - 69 percent
  • Motorcyclists - 13 percent
  • Pedestrians - 12 percent
  • Bicyclists - 2 percent
  • Large truck occupants - 1 percent

Males are “endangered species” on the road: Males aged 20-24 years old and 85 and older had the highest rate of motor vehicle crash deaths.

Since 2000, speeding has been actor in about one-third of traffic accident deaths. Last year, it accounted for as much as 31 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths.

Alcohol-related accidents are not just about the driver – statistics also show that pedestrians aged 16 and older had the highest proportion of BACs at or above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Further, 30 percent of fatally injured motorcycle drivers had BACs of 0.08 percent or higher in 2009.

In 2009, single vehicle crashes from 9pm to 6am showed high alcohol involvement, as much as 70 percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers during these times had BACs at or above 0.08 percent.

Children are hardly spared from the grim statistics, traffic accidents remain to be the leading cause of death for those 3-12 years old. 1,062 children died in motor vehicle crashes in 2009 and the proper use of safety restraints is a factor for these fatalities.

3,466 teenagers from 13-19 years died in motor vehicle crashes in 2009 – and around 2 out of 3 of them were male teens.

At age 75, older drivers are shown to be more involved in crashes. Most crashes involving seniors are due to their failure to yield the right-of-way. Senior drivers are cited for this error more often than younger drivers.

Accidents happen but even if you were powerless to prevent or avoid it, it doesn’t mean you don’t have the remedy. You may sue parties who caused the accident. A personal injury attorney or a wrongful death lawyer, depending on whether the accident is fatal or not, should be consulted for advice.

From the Author: Motor Vehicle Accidents

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