Every time you get into a vehicle, whether as a driver or a passenger, there is a chance that you could get into an accident. Non-fatal accidents are just as prevalant as fatal ones, and many of the same factors increase accident risk for both fatal and non-fatal crashes and accidents. Statistically speaking, there are a number of ways to tell what your chances of getting into an accident are, and, unfortunately, many of them are things you can’t change. Before you have to seek the help of an auto accidents attorney, learn more about your accident risk and what you can do to lower it.
Age and Gender
Young males between the ages of 15 and 19 are in the highest risk group for accidents of every kind. Interestingly, this group is also most likely to be pulled over for speeding. By contrast, drivers above the age of 44, both male and female, are least likely to be involved in an accident. Between the time you start driving and age 44, the odds are that you will find yourself in a fender bender at least once in your life – so if you’ve made it to 45 without ever needing to hire an accidents lawyer or file an insurance claim, you really are one in a million.
While more minor accidents occur in urban areas, fatal crashes tend to occur on rural roads. This is probably because it is easier to lose focus on long stretches of open road no matter who you are. If you have to drive in the country, be sure to follow the speed limit carefully and keep a watchful eye out for deer at night. Remember, too, that many fatal and non-fatal accidents are single vehicle accidents, which may be related to the increased risk of crashes in rural areas.
Type of Vehicle
Newer vehicles are generally considered much safer than older models, because cars, trucks, and SUVs today are designed to reduce your chances of getting into an accident rather than simply keep you safe if an accident happens. Among older vehicles, cars are more likely than trucks or SUVs to be involved in a crash. In fact, the 2013 national average of fatalities involving car crashes was about 39%, compared to 25% involving pickups and SUVs.
Some 70% or more of fatal accidents involve alcohol, and a large percentage of non-fatal accidents involve alcohol as well. Alcohol isn’t the only culprit, however; even driving while under the influence of your own prescription medication can drastically increase your chances of crashing. In fact, recent studies have shown that prescription medication is more dangerous for drivers than marijuana, which may only minimally increase your chances of an accident. Avoid driving under the influence of any substance, and your chances of crashing your vehicle will always be much lower.
Understanding your chances of getting into an accident can help you take steps to avoid one. And if something happens and you do find yourself in an accident, a San Diego accidents attorney is standing by to give you the professional representation you deserve.