Car Accident Preparedness

Car Accident Preparedness

When a vehicle collides with another vehicle, it is a car accident (traffic collision). A car accident can also be when the vehicle hits an animal, pedestrian, road debris or other objects, such as trees or telephone poles. These accidents can result in vehicle damage, property damage, injury and or death. Car accident facts show that they occur so frequently that on the average, millions of people are injured or die in a car accidents each year.

There are different factors that can contribute to the risk of having an accident, these can include speed, design of the vehicle, road design, driver skill or driver behavior. An auto accident can lead to death and disability, as well as the financial cost of the accident. All drivers need to keep alert and if they have a car accident know what to do.

Most of the time, car accidents are totally unexpected. No one in their right mind gets up in the morning and leaves for work thinking, "I think I'll just have me an accident this morning." Every once in a while though, you feel that there is danger. When you feel this way, pay attention.

There is no way to be totally prepared for an accident. The following suggestions can help in your daily travels:

  • Avoid situations.-The best drivers have accidents now and then. This is very hard to avoid. Attempt to not get yourself and your passengers in a dangerous situation if it can be avoided.
  • Look for an escape route.-Always be aware of your surroundings. If someone pulls out in front of you, look past that car. Your instinct will steer you towards that point.
  • Use the car safety equipment.-Checking for your air bags and being sure that your seat belts fit appropriately, can help save injuries and lives in a car accident. The law requires seat belts, so please wear them. For whatever reason you choose not to wear them, for example comfort or unneeded, using them is always better than suffering injury or death.
  • Place belongings in a safe place.-Such objects as books or computer bags, should be placed in the floorboard for safety.
  • Keep an auto emergency kit on hand. This kit should include things like a disposable camera, auto escape tool,jumper cables, and other emergency items.

The statistics which have been reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2009, show a total of 33,808 deaths in the United States. The state with the least amount of traffic fatalities was the District of Columbia and the states with the highest traffic fatalities include:

  • Ohio-1,021
  • New York-1,156
  • Pennsylvania-1,256
  • Georgia-1,284
  • North Carolina-1,314
  • Florida-2,258
  • Texas-3,071
  • California-3,081

If you do have a car accident for the first time, you typically feel as if you have been dropped in a maze. If you have been in an accident before, you may already know what the recovery from the accident could incur.

Accidents, personal injuries, and insurance claims are definitely part of reality. People zip around in their cars contributing to the accidents with no end in sight. With more than 200,000,000 licensed drivers in the United States, car accidents cost society more than $4,900 per second.

Adults in the United States, will be in a collision of some sort on the average of every five to eight years. To add a little known fact in 1896, there were only four cars licensed in all the United States. With this being said, two of them collided with each other in St. Louis.

The national auto accident facts show that drinking and driving accounts for more than 40% of the fatalities. Approximately 30% are due to speeding and another 30% are due to vehicles leaving the roadway. Considering the fact that all the states have seat belt laws, only about 68% of drivers actually use them.

Although almost 40,000 people die each year in the United States from car accidents, the numbers have actually been steadily declining over the past 20 years. The sad thing is that although these numbers have been decreasing, the percentage of the accidents caused by drinking while driving is on the increase.

Statistics show that there is a death caused by a car accident every 13 minutes. The population which seems to be affected the most are the youngest and the oldest in the driving population. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration surveys show that the car accident facts effectively proved that most drivers which are in car accidents are engaged in some activity that takes their attention away from the road. These drivers are usually tired, distracted, or driving under the influence.

The statistics for car accidents in the United States show:

  • There are an average of six million car accidents every year.
  • Reckless drivers are responsible for more than 33% of all the car accident deaths that involve major car accidents.
  • Alcohol caused 40% of all deaths in car accidents.
  • In the United States, three million people are injured every year in car accidents.
  • 1 in 3 people surveyed admit to sending and receiving text while driving.
  • 69% of people that were surveyed admit to talking on the phone while driving.

If you are in a car accident, the first thing you will want to do is to determine the extent of the injuries or damage. Try to stay calm and if there are injuries, seek medical care immediately. Even if the accident is minor, you still will need to file a legal accident report. Do not leave the scene of the accident until the police fill out a report and tell you that it is okay to leave.

People are shook up after an accident, but it is important for you not to discuss the accident with anyone other than the police. There are cases when you might not be thinking clearly. You should discuss the accident with the police and your insurance agent only.

Be sure to get the information about the people which were involved in the accident with you. Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone involved. The license plate number and description of the car which was involved in the accident with you might be very helpful information for your insurance agent. Most insurance companies want thorough information, not just the license plate number.

Some interesting facts about car accidents:

  • Surveys suggest that male drivers cause twice as many accidents as female drivers.
  • People between the ages of 16-20 are at a higher risk of being injured or killed in a car accident than any other age group.
  • The vehicle rollover is the most deadly of the types of auto accidents.
  • Most car accidents occur within 3.1 miles of home.
  • The chances of getting into a car crash while talking on a cellphone increases by 400%.

The best thing to do after an accident is to take a deep breath. Take pictures and notes regarding the accident and then get a property damage figure from your insurance company. If the other party's insurance company contacts you, the best thing for you to tell them is for them to contact your insurance company or attorney if you have hired one. The insurance company or lawyer are better equipped to handle the situation then you are.

Jumping the gun and accepting the first estimate or offer can turn out to be a costly mistake. If there is any dispute with your insurance company, if something which you thought should be simple starts turning complicated, then seek legal counsel. Hopefully the situation will go away as fast as it came.