What are the Chances of Being Injured in a Car Crash?
What are the Chances of Being Injured in a Car Crash?

What are the Chances of Being Injured in a Car Crash?

Scartelli Olszewski P.C.

Motor vehicle accidents are responsible for the deaths of more than 32,000 Americans every year, equal to about 90 people every day. In fact, the U.S. government reports that our crash death rate is more than twice as high as the average of other high-income countries. The odds of being injured in a car crash will depend on your age, where you live, how many miles you travel by motor vehicle, the type of vehicle in which you travel, and other factors.

Two million people in our country are injured in car collisions every year. Esurance, an American insurance company, says that your chances of getting into a car accident are one in 366 for every 1,000 miles driven, but not everyone in a crash gets hurt.

Fast Facts

  • Americans spend more than 1 million days in the hospital each year from crash injuries
  • Crash injuries in 2012 totaled $18 billion in lifetime medical costs. More than 75% of costs occur during the first 18 months following the crash injury
  • Lifetime work lost because of 2012 crash injuries cost an estimated $33 billion
  • 1 in 3 crash deaths in the US involved drunk driving
  • Approximately 1 in 3 involved speeding

Lower death rates in other high-income countries and a high percentage of risk factors in the US suggest that we can make more progress in reducing crash deaths.

Drivers and Passengers:

  • Use a seat belt in every seat, on every trip, no matter how short. Seat belts saved over 12,500 lives in the US in the year 2013 alone
  • Make sure children are always properly buckled in the back seat in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt, whichever is appropriate for their age, height, and weight.
  • Do not drive while impaired, and urge others do the same.
  • Obey speed limits
  • Drive without distractions (such as using a cell phone or texting).

State Officials, according to the CDC, can help:

  • Consider using proven interventions to reduce crashes and injuries.
  • Increasing seat belt use through primary enforcement seat belt laws that cover everyone in the car.
  • Improving child passenger safety with restraint laws that require car seat or booster seat use for children age 8 and under or until 57 inches tall, the recommended height for proper seat belt fit.
  • Reducing drinking and driving by using sobriety checkpoints and requiring ignition interlock use for people convicted of drinking and driving, starting with their first conviction.
  • Improving teen driver safety through the use of comprehensive GDL systems.
  • Support traffic safety laws with media campaigns and visible police presence, such as those used with sobriety checkpoints.
  • Link medical and crash data to better understand why crashes happen, the economic cost of those crashes, and how to prevent future crashes.

Employers, according to the CDC, can help:

  • Require seat belt use at all times in company vehicles, and in personal cars and trucks while on company business.
  • Monitor the costs and causes of crashes in their workforce to support and guide motor vehicle safety programs.
  • Arrange work schedules to reduce distracted driving, fatigue, and speeding.
  • Select company vehicles with advanced safety features such as electronic stability control, lane departure warning systems, and collision avoidance systems.

Contact Us

If you’ve been injured, or a loved one has died in a car crash in Pennsylvania, reach out to an experienced car crash attorney. For a free consultation with our team at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., contact us today. You can reach us via phone at 570-346-2600, or through our online contact form.


Accidents or Unintentional Injuries

Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths


Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries

Transportation Safety

About Underlying Cause of Death, 1999-2020