Do motorists have blinders on when it comes to car wrecks?

Just about every evening when we watch the nightly news on television, we learn that yet another serious car crash has occurred in Western Tennessee. It may be easy to tune out this information, as it seems like an everyday occurrence. However, it is important to pay attention to car accidents so you can understand your rights if you are struck by a negligent driver.

Car accident statistics

Each year approximately 40,000 individuals lose their lives and a further 3.3 million individuals suffer serious injuries in car accidents in the U.S. Car crashes are a leading cause of death for minors overtaking other forms of death such as deaths caused by firearms or drowning. So far in 2021, 21,450 individuals have lost their lives and 2.4 million individuals suffered serious injuries in car crashes. This is a 17% uptick from the number of fatal auto accidents in 2019.

Why do we downplay the seriousness of this problem?

While you might think these deaths would prompt many people to speak out about the dangers of negligent driving, many Americans tend to ignore these statistics as simply another fact of life. It is essential to stop normalizing the occurrence of serious and deadly motor vehicle accidents. After all, one study reports that 39.2% of those who survive a motor vehicle accident will develop post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, the person who causes the accident, first responders and good Samaritans at the scene of the crash can all be traumatized as can the victim’s loved ones.

 Addressing who is responsible for car crashes

U.S. drivers must operate their vehicles safely. And, while 75% of motorists will state they drive safer than the average driver, the number of serious or fatal car crashes shows this is not always the case. All motorists are tasked with the legal duty to drive reasonably under the circumstances. If a motorist strikes another driver, they may have breached this duty. If the breach causes the other driver to suffer damages and but for the breach the accident would not have occurred, it the motorist who caused the crash may be held responsible. Therefore, it is important for all drivers to pay attention to the road to avoid becoming another motor vehicle accident statistic.