The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) logs more than five million car crashes annually; at least 30,000 of these are fatal while more than two million result either to minor or serious injuries. Some other records, especially from the NHTSA-created Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), show that:
- from, 1899 to 2012 there were 3,551,332 fatal motor vehicle accidents;
- in 2010, there were 5,419,000 crashes that resulted to 32,999 deaths and 2,239,000 injuries;
- in 2011, motor vehicle accidents killed 32,479 individuals, the lowest number of motor vehicles deaths since 1949;
- in 2012, fatal crashes involving distracted drivers killed 3,328 individuals , 32 counts lower than the 3,360 deaths in 2011. The number of injuries, however, increased from 387,000 in 2011 to 421,000 in 2012;
- in 2013, motor vehicle accidents due to alcohol-impaired driving killed 10,076 individuals (at least 30% of all traffic-related deaths in the US); and,
- 90% of all road accidents are due to bad driving behavior, some of which are drunk-driving, reckless driving, speeding, especially while under the influence of alcohol, driving through a red light, changing lanes without signaling, and using a cellphone while driving.
The International Organization for Road Accident Prevention believes that road danger is nothing more than a man-made crisis – a totally preventable occurrence that is due to negligence. One very sad and alarming fact, however, is that the most often offenders in road crashes, especially fatal ones, are young drivers, those aged between 16 and 34 (teens aged 16 to 19 are three times more likely to be involved in fatal car crashes than those over the age of 20 though).
Obviously, young drivers’ inexperience and immaturity on the road, plus their inclination to take risks while thinking that they will not be harmed, are creating results that are far beyond what they assume. Below is a list of acts of recklessness, which so many drivers have been guilty of, but which young drivers are so much more prone to commit:
- Driving too fast for conditions;
- Tailgating (which is actually a sign of aggressive driving behavior);
- Running a red light or a stop sign;
- Improper lane changing;
- Improper turning;
- Improper overtaking or unsafe passing (which can result to a vehicle running off the road, sideswiping another motorist, and head-on collision);
- Getting distracted while behind the wheel (this can be due to use of use electronic devices, especially a cell phone, adjusting the radio or turning its volume to full blast, looking at a map, eating, etc.);
- Conversing with a passenger; and,
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or both (despite the federal’s and state’s zero tolerance laws, which strictly prohibit any level of alcohol in the blood of those under the age of 21, records from the NHTSA show that 33% of the teens who died in fatal collisions were actually intoxicated)
Driving is supposed to be a fun experience; however, because of the reckless behavior of some drivers, it has become a risky activity. Drivers, regardless of age, should know that car accidents are not just numbers in statistical data. These occurrences cause a great deal of suffering for those who get injured, disabled or die.
Reckless driving is defined as any action on the road that willfully disregards the standards of safe driving. Accidents that result from reckless driving are often serious and may involve severe and life-threatening injuries. Extensive property damage and injury to individuals are common when an driver chooses to behave in a reckless manner.
Iowa car accident attorneys are among those who strongly hold reckless drivers accountable for their actions and the injuries they cause. With all other legal professionals, they protect the rights of victims involved in reckless driving accidents by helping them pursue compensation for the pain and suffering they have sustained due to a reckless driver.