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US Car Accidents: The $13,714.49 Per Second Problem

by John Gomez | Last Updated: March 16, 2017
US Car Accidents

If you learned of a problem that was costing Americans a total of $13,714.49 per second, would you want something done about it?  Would you feel the same way if you received a random monthly bill for $113?  What if this problem also included a rising number of fatalities?  Such a problem already exists.  That problem is US car accidents and their total cost to our society in several ways.  New data regarding US car accidents in 2016 is now available, and not only does this problem exist, but it’s getting worse.  After years of trending downward, car accident fatalities across the country continued to rise in 2016 for a second consecutive year.  This troubling news has experts wondering what can be done.  One possibility involves increased awareness, which is why the San Diego car accident lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys want the public to know about this issue.

About the 2016 Motor Vehicle Fatalities Report

Every year, the National Safety Council, or NSC, releases its report relating to US car accidents and the fatalities that result from them.  Car accident fatalities rose in 2016 as compared to 2015, marking the second consecutive year in which fatalities were higher than the previous year.  The report included the following data:

  • Motor vehicle mileage increased by 3 percent in 2016 as compared to 2015.
  • 40,200 people died in US car accidents during the year.
  • This represents a 6 percent rise as compared to fatalities in 2015.
  • 2016 was the first time that car accident fatalities rose above 40,000 people since 2007.
  • There were 14 percent more car accident fatalities in 2016 as compared to 2014.
  • There were 12.4 deaths per 100,000 population in 2016 due to car accidents.
  • This represents an increase of 5 percent as compared to 2015.
  • The deaths per miles driven rate in 2016 was 1.25 per 100 million miles.
  • This represents an increase of 3 percent as compared to 2015.
  • Car accidents caused 4.6 million injuries in 2016 that required medical attention.
  • This represents an increase of 3 percent as compared to 2015.

Clearly, 2016 was not a positive year in terms of US car accidents and the fatalities that they caused.  Hopefully these statistics trend downward in 2017.

The Cost of US Car Accidents in 2016

As mentioned above, US car accidents inflicted an extremely high cost on American society in 2016.  According to the NSC estimate, the United States lost a total of $432.5 billion due to crashes in 2016.  This number is 12 percent higher than the losses incurred in 2015.  The losses are calculated by including the following variables:

  • Wage and productivity losses
  • Medical expenses
  • Administrative expenses
  • Employer costs
  • Property damage

As mentioned above, this equates to more than $13,000 in losses every second of every day because of US car accidents.  That also means that if every American shared the cost of car accidents equally, each person would realize $113 in losses every month.

Warmer Weather Could Be a Factor

The estimate also broke down the number of fatalities caused by US car accidents by month.  Based on the data, it seems that the roads in the United States became more dangerous as the weather got warmer across the country.  Below you’ll find the number of car accident fatalities in 2016 broken down by month:

  • January – 2,740
  • February – 2,880
  • March – 3,070
  • April – 3,170
  • May – 3,520
  • June – 3,550
  • July – 3,560
  • August – 3,740
  • September – 3,560
  • October – 3,790
  • November – 3,480
  • December – 3,140

It will come as a surprise to many that October was the deadliest month of 2016 on American roads.  Overall, more than 110 people died in US car accidents every day last year, which equates to one person approximately every 13 minutes.

2016 California Car Accident Fatalities – Not Good News

The NSC estimate also broke car accident fatalities down by state.  It was not a safe year to be on the roads in California when compared to 2015 and to 2014.  The following data were reported with regards to the state:

  • 2016 California car accident fatalities – 3,680
  • 2015 California car accident fatalities – 3,249
  • 2014 California car accident fatalities – 3,084
  • Percentage increase in fatalities between 2016 and 2015 – 13 percent
  • Percentage increase in fatalities between 2016 and 2014 – 19 percent

More than 10 people died in California car accidents every day in 2016.  That equates to one person every 2 hours and 24 minutes, every day of the year.  In 2014, one person died every 2 hours and 50 minutes.  Clearly, the fatality rate is increasing at a rapid rate.

Rate of Fatality Increases/Decreases Across the United States

As many would likely suspect, few jurisdictions saw good news develop from the data relating to US car accidents and resulting fatalities in 2016.  Since the District of Columbia was included in the analysis, there were 51 jurisdictions included in the report.  Only 12 of them saw their car accident fatalities drop in 2016 as compared to 2016.  These jurisdictions included:

  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Wyoming saw the biggest drop in car accident fatalities in 2016 as compared to 2015, dropping by 23 percent.

The five states that saw the biggest percentage increases in car accident fatalities in 2016 as compared to 2015 include:

  • New Mexico – 34 percent
  • Alaska – 29 percent
  • Hawaii – 27 percent
  • Iowa – 26 percent
  • Alaska – 23 percent

Anyone who would like to review the entire NSC report can find it here.

How a San Diego Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

We have looked at the issues relating to car accidents several times before, including analyses of:

Unfortunately, US car accidents occur on a nearly constant basis and for a plethora of reasons.  The best ways to avoid being involved in a crash include driving defensively and with focus, understanding the laws of the roads and being aware of the dangers that exist.  Unfortunately, crashes will still occur regularly.  If you or someone you love has been injured by a negligent driver, you need to seek the help of San Diego car accident lawyers who have been holding negligent and reckless drivers accountable for more than a decade.  Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible for a free case evaluation.

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