The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that nearly 1.6 million injurious or fatal crashes occur on U.S. roads on an annual basis. As a result of these collisions, more than 2.2 million people suffer injuries that are serious enough to require urgent medical care or they suffer fatal injuries at the scene.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the fact that approximately 90 people die as a result of motor vehicle crashes across the country every day means that the U.S. has the highest motor vehicle death crash rate of all comparison nations worldwide.
Why is this happening?
Sometimes, accidents happen and they are – for better and for worse – nobody’s fault. Most often, faultless accidents occur either due to an “act of God” like a lightning strike, the behavior of uncontrollable forces (such as a wild animal darting out into the road) or a truly unforeseen circumstance like a driver experiencing a stroke at the wheel.
However, most accidents can be rightfully attributed to the negligence, recklessness or intentionally dangerous actions or inactions of at least one party. This isn’t to say that the motor vehicle operators involved in a collision are necessarily to blame. Companies that manufacture auto parts, government agencies responsible for road maintenance and other third parties also frequently cause accidents through their actions or inactions.
Some of the most common fault-based reasons why motor vehicles crash include:
- Drunk driving
- Driving while under the influence of drugs
- Drowsy driving
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
- Inadequate vehicle maintenance
- Defective auto parts
- Following other vehicles too closely
- Poor road conditions
- Poor weather conditions
By better understanding why crashes occur in the first place, travelers can make more informed decisions about how to mitigate their risks of suffering harm while on the road.