What factors increase the risk of catastrophic injuries that could lead to wrongful death in an automobile accident? Do certain behaviors and actions increase the risk for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians? All car accidents pose a risk of injury; however, certain factors including speed, point of impact, seat belt usage, and driver age can increase the risk of catastrophic injury. Nationwide, traumatic brain injury, paralysis, severe burns, and limb amputation are some of the most common catastrophic injuries suffered by survivors of severe automobile accidents.
In 2015, an average of 6,693 people were injured in automobile accidents each day, while a further 97 were killed. Pedestrians and cyclists have virtually no protection in a collision with an automobile, and in 2015 an average of 192 pedestrians were injured each day and 15 were killed. In all, approximately 70,000 pedestrians were injured in 2015, which was an increase over the 65,000 recorded in 2014.
Drunk driving has claimed a large number of lives, and the number of alcohol impaired crashes continues to rise. In 2014, the number of fatal accidents involving alcohol stood at 9,049. That rose to 9,350 in 2015, and rose again to 9,477 in 2016. In 2016, 21% of drivers of passenger cars, 20% of light truck drivers, 25% of motorcyclists, and 2% of large truck drivers involved in alcohol-impaired collisions had BAC levels in excess of .08%.
Failure to use seat belts is another common cause of catastrophic injuries that can lead to a wrongful death. In 2016, 62% of children ages 13-15 who died in motor vehicle collisions were not wearing seat belts. 53% of vehicle occupants between 16-20 were not wearing seat belts when they were killed. Both statistics were significantly higher than the rate of 48% for all motorists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 2,456 lives could be saved if seat belt usage rates were at 100%.
Speed is another common factor that can cause a catastrophic injury or fatality. In 2016, 10,111 accidents -- 27% of all fatal accidents -- involved excessive speed. While the number of speed-related accident fatalities has increased, percentage wise, the number has remained relatively steady. Excessive speed increases the risk of catastrophic or fatal injury because it exponentially increases the amount of force at impact and can cause complex trauma to multiple vital organ systems.
Brad Pistotnik Law is a car accident injury attorney, lawyer, and abogado with attorneys, lawyers, and abogados who represent clients in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Illinois who experience a catastrophic car accident injury in a motor vehicle accident and the survivors of those who suffer a wrongful death. Whether the accident occurred in Wichita, Liberal, Garden City, Hays, Lucas, Russell, La Crosse, Hoisington, Ness City, WaKeeney, Quinter, Dighton, Greensburg, Pratt, Stafford, Goodland, Colby, Hays, Dodge City, Ulysses, Satanta, Enid, Oklahoma City, Kearney, El Reno, Tulsa, Pratt, Great Bend, Ainsworth, Long Pine, Halsey, Thedford, Brownlee, Arnold, Merna, Atkinson, Stuart, Aurora, Peoria, Evanston, Moline, Chicago, Leawood, Merriam, Bellevue, Shawnee, Lenexa, Emporia, Derby, Springfield, Marshall, Sedalia, Warsaw, Rich Hill, Arrow Rock, St. Peters, Blue Springs, Joplin, Cowden, Ramsey, Vandalia, Mulberry Grove, Raymond, Nokomis, Cicero, Decatur, Evanston, O'Fallon, St. Charles, Blue Springs, Florissant, Broken Arrow, Branson, Grapevine, Denton, Sanger, Benbrook, Jefferson City, Joplin, Lawton, Bartlesville, Rockford, Schaumburg, Independence, Destin, Niceville, Pensacola, Milton, Callaway, Panama City Beach, Crewsview, Beaumont, El Paso, Frisco, Amarillo, or elsewhere in these states, our team works to secure the compensation our clients need to recover from a catastrophic car accident injury.
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