If you are between the ages of 5 and 34, you are more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident than by any other means. And Alabama is among the nation’s deadliest states in which to drive, according to a 24/7 Wall Street analysis.
The analysis is based on a report by The Trust for America’s Health, which looked at recent state-by-state data on causes of injuries and death. Our Alabama personal injury attorneys were not surprised to learn that Alabama is the nation’s third-deadliest state for motorists.
Ten Deadliest States for Auto Accidents:
10. Kentucky: 18.3 fatalities per 100,000.
9. Oklahoma: 19.5 deaths per 100,000.
8.West Virginia: 19.8 deaths per 100,000.
7. Louisiana: 20.2 deaths per 100,000.
6. South Carolina: 21 deaths per 100,000.
5. Arkansas: 21.6 deaths per 100,000.
4. Wyoming: 21.7 deaths per 100,000.
3. Alabama: 21.7 deaths per 100,000.
2. Montana: 23.3 deaths per 100,000.
1. Mississippi: 26.7 deaths per 100,000.
Fatal motor vehicle accidents cost $8.2 million each year. Low seat belt use (91.4 percent) was also cited as a factor. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted six of the 10 states with the lowest seat belt use were among the nation’s deadliest. The report also cited the lack of several safety laws, including mandatory ignition interlock devices for all drunk drivers and booster seat requirements for those under eight years of age.
Massachusetts had the lowest fatality rate in the nation, with just 5.5 death per 100,000. Nationwide, medical expenses and lost productivity stemming from auto accidents cost $170 billion in 2005, the most recent year for which statistics are available.
The Alabama Department of Public Safety reported more than 123,000 Alabama motor vehicle accidents were reported in 2009, injuring more than 35,000 and claiming 848 lives.
The U.S. Department of Transportation reports leading causes of serious and fatal accidents include:
-Drunk Driving: 314 of 862 Alabama traffic fatalities in 2010 involved at least one driver who tested positive for the presence of alcohol. Statewide, drunk driving is responsible for more than one-third of traffic accidents.
-Speeding: More than one-third of the state’s 848 traffic fatalities in 2009 involved a speeding driver, according to the NHTSA. A total of 327 motorists were killed in speed-related accidents.
-Distracted Driving: Authorities are still trying to get a handle on the extent to which distraction is involved in fatal car accidents. But smartphones and other technology has fueled the skyrocketing number of distracted driving accidents. By some estimates, as many as one-third of all accidents involve some form of distracted driving.
Teen Drivers: Car accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers. And young drivers are involved in a disproportionately high number of accidents.
Aggressive driving, drowsy driving and driving too fast for road conditions are also common causes for accidents. Driving at night or on the weekend exposes you to additional risks. We are in the midst of the summer travel season. Keep a level head and stay safe out there.
Earlier Sunset and Greater Risks for Car Accidents in Tuscaloosa, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, November 15, 2011