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Important car accident statistics Seattle residents should know

For most people in Washington, stepping into a car and then taking it onto the road is among the most dangerous things they will do all day. The accelerator could get stuck. Black ice could surprise even the most careful driver. Other drivers could be too busy looking at their phone or eating their breakfast to notice what is happening on the road. These and other dangers can turn a daily commute into a person's last commute.

Just how dangerous is driving? Consider statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute. According to those statistics, in 2014 nearly 500 people in Washington died in car accidents. In other words, 6.5 out of every 100,000 Washington residents died on the road in 2014 alone.

How do those figures compare across different types of vehicles? Nearly 200 of the deaths were from people in cars. Meanwhile, about 100 people were in pickups and SUVs, 75 were pedestrians, about 70 on motorcycles and five in large trucks. Alcohol was a major factor for these accidents. In fact, the figures estimate that more than half of the drivers killed had alcohol in their system.

When a car accident occurs, it can cause severe damage or even death. For those lucky enough to only be injured, recovering can take months or even years of medical treatment. And that can mean significant medical bills. To help cover the costs of a car accident while also holding the responsible party accountable, Washington residents may benefit from getting more information about their legal options.

Source: iihs.org, "General statistics," Accessed Oct. 4, 2016

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