On March 5, 2008, AAA released a study revealing that car accidents kill 43,000 people every year. It is a staggering number. To put the number of car accident fatalities in perspective, it is the equivalent of two jumbo jets crashing every week, killing everyone aboard.
Car Accidents Cost Also Staggering
The cost of it is also staggering. Car accidents cost over $164 billion dollars a year. That figure is more than double the $67.6 billion in annual costs from congestion, which unfortunately, is the figure that politicians and the media usually focus on instead. Hopefully, this study will realign priorities and more effort will be placed on preventing car accidents and public safety when studying the costs of transportation. (Note: car accident cost was calculated by taking into account the crash costs, property damage, lost earnings, medical costs, emergency services, legal costs and travel delays.)
Michigan Car Accident Statistics
In Michigan, the latest statistics indicate 373,028 car accidents. There were 99,860 crashes that caused personal injuries to the people involved; 1,159 people were killed in car accident fatalities. These and other Michigan car accident statistics can be found in What Every Driver Must Know, published by the Michigan Secretary of State.
Motor Vehicle Crashes – Public Health Threat
In regards to the AAA insurance study, Robert Darbelnet, AAA’s President, noted that “the annual tally of motor vehicle-related fatalities barely registers as a blip in most people’s minds.” He was quoted as saying that “it’s time for motor vehicle crashes to be viewed as the public health threat they are.”
Car Accident Lawyers Agree
As car accident lawyers, we could not agree more. It is difficult to understand how the number of people injured and killed in car accidents is not more of a public health crisis, let alone an issue deserving of media attention. But, if instead of car accidents, it were two jumbo jets that were crashing and killing everyone on board, you could be sure that all planes would be quickly grounded. The study recommends that states pass seat belt laws and that lawmakers make safety more of a priority in their transportation planning. The study also recommends pursuing measures such as stiffer laws on drunk driving.
Again, our auto attorneys agree. As lawyers we have represented a number of wrongful death car accident cases that involved alcohol. Alcohol was involved in 338 car accident deaths in Michigan in 2004. Human error and driver misjudgment also play tragic roles: 29.3 percent of the pedestrians who are killed in car accidents are struck when crossing the street.
Car Accidents – Leading Cause of Death for Young
Car accidents remain the leading cause of death for young people, which is why most Michigan car accident lawyers favor of the graduated drivers’ license program for inexperienced, younger drivers. For young people ages 15-24, 4 out of every 5 deaths are due to car accidents, making car crashes a greater cause than the next 3 most frequent causes combined.