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Drivers Beware: Driving Statistics to Know Before You Hit the Road

There’s no better feeling of freedom than the one that comes when you’re driving. The wind through your hair, good music on the radio, an open road — the world is yours to explore and it feels good. Unfortunately, it only takes one small mistake for all that to come crashing down.

Before you hit the open road, you should familiarize yourself with these driving statistics to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes.

Fatal Car Accident Statistics

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 2018 (the latest data) saw 33,654 fatal car accidents.

Texas had the most fatalities, with 3,305 fatal car crashes happening that year resulting in 3,642 deaths. In 2017, 2,364 teen drivers lost their lives to fatal accidents, and a further 300,000 were treated for car-accident related injuries.

Road Rage

The Zebra conducted a wide-ranging survey on driving habits and found that 82% of drivers admitted to road rage.

Of surveyed drivers, 59% reported honking at other cars out of anger, 45% said they changed lanes without signaling, and 42% said they yelled at drivers or pedestrians from their car. Another 38% admitted to flipping other drivers off, and 33% said they intentionally sped in heavy traffic!

A choice few of the surveyed drivers took their road rage to the next level. 6% of people threw things at other drivers, 5% side-swept vehicles, and another 5% forced another driver off the road completely. 

We all get a little angry when driving from time-to-time, but it’s important to breathe and show self-control to lower these shocking percentages.

Seatbelts

According to Driver Knowledge, 1 in 7 people don’t buckle up their seatbelts before driving.

It gets worse, though. 37,133 people died in car crashes in 2017. Of those 37,133 people, 47% were not wearing a seat belt.

To highlight the importance of seatbelts, they saved around 14,955 lives in 2017 according to the NHTSA. That means they could have saved about 2,549 lives, reducing the number of lives lost in 2017 from 37,133 to 34,584.

You should never hit the road without doing up your seatbelt. You should also double-check to make sure all your passengers are buckled up. If they’re an adult the choice is ultimately up to them, but maybe these statistics will change their minds.

Property Damage

You’d be surprised just how many car crashes resulted in property damage only.

2008 saw 5,811,000 car crashes reported to the police. Of those near 6-million calls, a whopping 4,146,000 resulted only in property damage. Nobody was injured or killed, only property.

This stat offers a bit of relief as it shows that many accidents don’t lead to death or injury. However, property damage is no laughing matter. It can be very expensive for the driver and owner of the property, and highlights the importance of paying attention when driving.

Drinking and Driving Statistics

A reported 10,497 people died in drunk driving accidents in 2016. This accounts for 28% of all fatal car deaths in the US, and paints a troubling picture.

That picture only gets more troubling as the stats stack up. 1,233 child car crash fatalities involved a drunk driver, and drugs beyond alcohol are involved in 16% of crashes. Over 1-million drunk drivers were arrested in 2016.

According to The Zebra, 20% of people in a 2019 survey said they knew someone who died in a drunk driving accident. This is an upsetting statistic that shows just how prevalent drunk driving is in our country. Thankfully, there is hope.

The same Zebra survey found that 50.2% of young adults use a service like Uber when they drink. Another 45% of females surveyed said they call a friend when they’re drunk and get a ride. 

People are undoubtedly more informed about drink driving in 2020 than they ever have been. However, that doesn’t mean drunk driving isn’t still a problem. Don’t drive drunk — help lower the statistic.

If you’re wondering if there are any drunk drivers around you, use DMVRecords.us.org to vet your neighbors’ driving records.

Texting and Driving (Distracted Driving Statistics)

The National Safety Council claims that 1.6 million crashes per year are directly caused by cell phone use while driving.

A shocking 390,000 people are injured each year by texting and driving, making texting while driving 6x more likely than drunk driving to cause an accident. When you text and drive your eyes are completely off the road, meaning you can’t pay attention at all. When you consider this, it’s not too surprising.

Teens are an estimated 4x more likely to get in a texting and driving accident than adults. A AAA poll shows that although 94% of teens know how dangerous texting and driving is, 35% still do it. 21% of teen driver fatalities in 2017 were caused by cell phones.

Although these stats are true, most drivers stand against texting and driving. 94% of drivers want texting and driving banned, while 74% want hand-held cellphone use in general banned. That means hands-free devices only.

Distracted driving of any type is dangerous, and texting and driving is no joke. No matter how “fast” you can get that text out, you need to wait until you’re parked and out of the car for the safety of everyone.

Know the Driving Statistics & Stay Safe

It’s one thing to know that driving accidents happen. It’s another thing to read and learn about the specific driving statistics. The best way to stay safe on the road is to confront your own driving flaws head-on and work on them.

These statistics exist — there’s no running from them, so why bother? Familiarize yourself with the driving statistics above and head out onto the road with them in mind. You can help lower these troubling statistics, and so can everyone else.

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