In the United States, car accidents happen every day. They can happen on small local roadways as well as multi-lane highways congested with commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. Even a seemingly minor crash or collision can have major impacts on your health and financial security. The injuries you suffer may require ongoing medical care and treatment while preventing you from working or even engaging in hobbies and activities you once enjoyed.
There are certain times, places, and conditions under which car accidents are more likely to occur. While you cannot always prevent an accident from occurring, you can reduce your chance of being involved in a car accident and potentially be suffering a severe injury. Take the time now to learn about the conditions and the types of reckless driving behaviors that result in accidents and injuries by reviewing the following car accident statistics with our Phoenix car accident attorneys.
Arizona Accidents versus U.S. as a Whole
According to the latest statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Arizona saw 810 fatal car crashes resulting in 893 deaths over the course of 2015. This is a rate of more than 13 deaths per 100,000 people, higher than the national average of 10.9 deaths and putting us in the top 40 percent of the country in terms of accident fatalities.
In addition to the number of fatal accidents, the Arizona Department of Transportation (AZDOT) reports that there were more than 115,000 total accidents within the state, resulting in injuries to close to 54,000 drivers and passengers. Unfortunately, more than two third of these accidents occurred in Maricopa County, causing serious and potentially life-threatening injuries to nearly 40,000 people in and around the Phoenix area.
How Much Do Car Accidents Cost?
The Association for Safe International Road Travel Reports costs associated with car accidents in the United States total approximately $230.6 billion per year.
Locally, AZDOT reports that the costs for car accidents in Arizona alone, including injuries, property damages, and fatalities, totaled more than $3.8 billion in 2015.
The following is a breakdown of the average amount of costs victims of car accidents in Arizona are likely to pay, depending on the nature of their injuries:
- For victims of fatal accidents: $1.5 million;
- For victims of accidents involving severe and incapacitating injuries: $90,000;
- For victims with serious but not incapacitating injuries: $26,112;
- For victims with possible injuries: $21,420; and
- For accidents involving property damage alone: $11,526
Phoenix Car Accident Statistics
In addition to having the highest number of accidents, Maricopa County also leads the state in terms of having the highest amount of car accident costs.
For residents and visitors in the Phoenix area, these costs total more than $600 million for traffic fatalities, more than one billion for injuries, and close to $700 million in property damages.
Because these costs are so high, it is important to work with a car accident lawyer who can help you reach a fair settlement amount for your claim.
Top Causes of Car Accidents
A few of the top causes of car accidents recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) include:
- Drunk driving;
- Driver fatigue;
- Distracted driving; and
- Running red lights and stop signs.
Other causes of car accidents include inclement weather, driver aggression, right of way violations, traffic congestion, and roadway defects.
In 2013, a total of 5,687,000 collisions were reported to police in the United States. However, the NHTSA estimates that 10 million or more collisions occur every year and that many go unreported.
Where Do Car Accidents Occur?
A 2004 study by Progressive Insurance found that more than half of car accidents occur within five miles of the victim’s home. Generally, this means that collisions occur more frequently in neighborhoods, rather than commercial spaces and highways.
Collisions that tend to occur in suburban neighborhoods include collisions with parked cars, collisions between drivers backing out of their driveways and those passing by on the road or sidewalk, and sideswipe collisions between drivers moving through narrow residential streets.
Parking Lot Car Accidents
Car accidents also happen with some regularity in parking lots, where drivers are frequently forced to maneuver around other tightly-parked vehicles and may be feeling anxious about finding a spot quickly or finding one close to the store. Often, pedestrians walking through parking lots are at risk of being struck by drivers, especially at night when visibility is low. It can be easy to let your guard down when you are driving in your neighborhood but remain as vigilant here as you would be in any other setting.
According to the IIHS, 62 percent of the 2015 collision fatalities in Arizona occurred in urban settings. 38 percent occurred in rural settings. Across the nation, about half of the fatalities that were reported that year occurred on rural roadways, with some states reporting higher percentages of urban collision fatalities than others.
When Do Car Accidents Occur?
Predictably, car accidents are more likely to occur during high volume hours than during less busy times of the day. According to Esurance, 16 percent of the traffic fatalities recorded in 2013 occurred during three and six pm.
Collisions are also more likely to occur during the evening hours, rather than during the middle of the day and the afternoon. This can be attributed to two factors: decreased visibility at night and driver fatigue. 31 percent of the fatal accidents recorded in 2013 occurred between six pm and midnight.
If You are Involved in a Car Accident
If you are involved in a car accident, stop the car immediately and pull off the roadway if it is safe to do so. If anybody involved in the collision needs emergency medical attention, call 911 to have an ambulance dispatched to the scene. Otherwise, notify the local police to have an officer sent to record the accident in an official police report.
Examine the damage to your vehicle and any physical signs of injury on your body. Take photographs of all of the symptoms of the accident as well as the surrounding scene. If there were witnesses to the accident, ask for their contact information. You might need to submit copies of their testimony with your claim as evidence. Do not leave the scene without the following:
- Contact information for any witnesses;
- Insurance information from all other drivers involved; and
- A copy of the official police report.
After leaving the scene of the accident, seek appropriate medical attention for your injuries if needed. Your doctor’s testimony about your injury and prognosis will also be important pieces of evidence to support your claim.
Work with Our Team of Phoenix Car Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another party’s negligence, you are entitled to seek compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. Our team of Phoenix personal injury accident lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. can help determine the best way to move forward with your personal injury claim and guide you through each step of the process. A few previous settlements we have secured for car accident victims include:
- $200,000 for a victim who suffered two herniated discs after being struck by a drunk driver; and
- $255,000 for a pedestrian victim who was struck by a motorist while walking through a crosswalk.