Every year since 1989 more than 40000 people die in the United States as a result of motor vehicle accidents about one person every 12 minutes. Another 3.4 million people are injured in crashes and collisions each year. A persons chance of being injured in a car crash is greater than one in a thousand and car crashes are the main cause of death and injury to children and adolescents aged 5 to 27. Loss of life and interests of life reatment damage many of them preventable present a serious continued public health crisis.
The main factors contributing to car crashes are.
use of alcohol and other drugs
Failure to use seat belts
uncertain driving conditions
Alcohol a lethal ingredient
Use of alcohol is the single biggest factor in the event of death and damage to motor vehicles. Two out of five Americans will be involved in an alcohol related crash during their lifetime many as innocent victims. Each year about 40 percent of crashes lead to mortality the use of alcohol. In 2006 206 people died in alcohol related crashes. Another 18 percent involve the use of other drugs often in combination with alcohol. In fatal accidents where the driver had drunk three quarters 75% of drivers the blood alcohol concentration BAC had 0.10 or 0.11 higher than the legal limit in all states District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
A driver arrested for the first time for full driving will have driven full on average 87 times before the arrest. Mothers Against Drunk Driving MADD advocates police control points which are highly effective both to prevent drivers from excessive drinking and to identify drowning drivers and take them off the road. In 2002 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that alcohol related crashes and deaths fell by 20 percent when occupational control points were used and published.
In 2006 speed was a contributing factor in 30 percent of all mortal crashes which corresponded to
13000 lost lives. The severity of a motor vehicle accident doubles for every 10 miles per hour increase in speed at stroke. A pedestrian affected by a car traveling 20 mph has a 5 percent increase in dying. If the car travels at 40mph the pedestrians odds are to die 95 percent.
Freeway trips although speeds are higher account for only 14 percent of speed related deaths. Local roads with lower speed limits are where more than half of all speed related deaths occur.
The economic cost of speed related crashes in the United States is estimated at $ 40.4 billion a year in the loss of life healthcare property damage and lost productivity.
Stretch up stay awake
Among drivers and passengers killed in car crashes fifty five percent did not use seat belts. Failure to use belts is particularly high among teens and young adults. Unloaded drivers not only hurt themselves but all of us. The cost of hospital care for an unloaded passenger in a vehicle involved in a crash is on average 5000 dollars more than the cost of care for a belt crew. Eighty five percent of these costs are transferred to the public in the form of higher insurance premiums and higher taxes.
Every year that runs during driving at least 100000 car crashes cause 40000 injuries and 1500 deaths. The drowsy driver is usually a young man 16 and 29 years old often a hardworking teenager who works at night and goes to school. People with undiagnosed sleepy conditions such as apnea or narcolepsy are also vulnerable to sleepiness. These crashes tend to occur in the early afternoon.
The largest single category of highway deaths is the crash on single vehicles. Path enhancements such as ski resistant sidewalks removal of roads such as poles and trees wrinkles and more reflective signs can significantly reduce the number of fatalities on the way.