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Have you ever considered how many car accidents you’ve passed? It seems rather common to see one. “Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death among healthy U.S. citizens,” reports “… Nearly 2.5 million are seriously hurt or permanently disabled.” This alarming statistic requires a closer look. Why do Americans experience such a high rate of serious car accidents and what we can do about?

What do the statistics say? has some interesting statistics. Approximately 40,000 fatal car accidents take place in the U.S. every year. That’s roughly about 90 people killed in a car wreck per day. Most deaths take place on the weekend. The leading causes include drunk driving (40%), irresponsible driving (33%), and speeding (30%).

Perhaps the most tragic is the number of children killed in a car accident annually: reports, “Each year, more than 1,600 children younger than 15 die in traffic accidents.” So what’s the No. 1 cause of wrecks in America?

Distracted driving

According to the Los Angeles Accident Law Center, distracted driving is the leading cause of wrecks. While texting is likely the first thing that comes to mind when you think of distracted driving, it’s not the only risky behavior in this category. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explains, “Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.”

This doesn’t mean texting is OK. NHTSA added, “Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.” You may think that you’re a great driver who has enough skills to navigate while checking your phone, but why risk it?

Drinking while driving

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This is one death every 50 minutes.” While this number is alarming, it’s also completely avoidable.

What can you do?

It’s easy to assume a car accident will never happen to you, but chances are, it will. Even if you obey every traffic law on the books and never text while driving, that doesn’t mean other drivers on the road will do the same. recommends getting car insurance, for starters. Most health insurance doesn’t pay for the treatment needed as a result of a car accident. 

You can also be more proactive by using all the safety features your car offers, securing your child in a proper car seat, and wear your seat belt. According to the CDC, seat belts are one of the most effective ways to protect yourself and passengers in a car crash. Putting on your seat belt only takes a few seconds. It seems simple enough, yet this act can save your life.


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