Here To Help You Get Life

Back On Track


Data reveal the expected causes of motor vehicle accidents

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2023 | Car Accidents |

The circumstances of every car accident—weather conditions, time of day, speeding, intoxication—combined with other factors such as geographic location, type and make of vehicle and sex and age of driver contribute to with whom liability lies and the extent of injuries, including fatalities. Statistics compiled by various agencies for 2020 create a clear picture not only of what causes motor vehicle accidents but also what actions could prevent them.

Statistics emphasize the who, where, when and how of drivers

Of the more than 5 million collisions on roadways across the United States in 2020, over 1.5 million sustained injuries. Nearly 35,000, or less than 1% of all motor vehicle crashes involved a fatality. As expected, the all-too-familiar causes dominate the data. Drunk driving accounted for 13,695 fatalities. Twenty-nine percent of deadly car crashes result from speeding drivers; nearly 3,000 fatal crashes involved distracted drivers. Age played a factor as well: Eleven percent of all accident fatalities involved minors, while nearly 7,000 people 65 and older died.

Weekend driving, i.e., Friday, Saturday and Sunday and nighttime driving—between 6 a.m. and Midnight—proved the deadliest times of day, accounting for nearly half and more than one-third of fatal accidents, respectively. Men engage in riskier behavior such as speeding and quick lane changes and, thus, died in collisions nearly three times the rate of women. Both passengers and drivers who failed to use seatbelts died in almost half of the collisions.

Washington: Cautious drivers and expansive safety laws

Drivers in Washington have remained comparatively safe in terms of overall safety. Data from the National Highway Safety Administration ranks Washington as the 40th safest state when using fatality rates and negligent driving data. Interestingly, the Evergreen State has, along with 17 other states, set limits on cannabis (THC-9) for DUI through legislation. In fact, the total number of fatal crashes that involved cannabis among drivers rose between 2018 and 2020.

Auto accidents occur despite the best efforts of even the most conscientious drivers. While the ultimate responsibility lies with the operator, there exists certain indicators that help to interpret the why and how of an accident, whether fatal or otherwise. Attorneys who understand these situations can offer guidance.