What Are the Odds of Dying in a Car Crash?

what are the odds of dying in a car crash

Fear is both a natural and healthy emotion in most circumstances. This emotion can help us respond to and avoid dangerous situations. However, when we’re estimating our levels of risk, fear can also cause us to worry about insignificant events that are unlikely to occur. Overestimating risk can lead to anxiety while underestimating risk can injure or, in some cases, kill us. So, it’s natural that we want to assess the risks that we face accurately. Many people are scared of shark attacks, plane crashes, and being struck by lightning. But what about accidental opioid overdose, falls, or dying in a car accident? Knowing the odds of many preventable deaths is the first step to beating those odds. So, what are the odds of dying in a car crash? According to the National Safety Council, you have a 1 in 101 chance of dying in a car crash. These odds are higher than being killed in a pedestrian accident or motorcycle accident and lower than dying by suicide or cancer.

The latest data shows that there were an average of 292 deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents or traffic-related injuries in New York. The rate of someone dying in a traffic accident has decreased from 3 deaths per 100,000 New Yorkers to as low as 1.2.

If you were injured in a car crash or if your loved one died in a car crash caused by third-party negligence, the Albany car accident attorneys at Bailey, Johnson & Peck may be able to help you seek compensation for your losses. Our Albany injury law firm offers a free consultation for all potential clients. To learn more about our legal services or to schedule your consultation, call us at 518-456-0082.

How Many Car Accidents Happen Every Year in the U.S.?

Car crash deaths are the third leading cause of preventable death in America. There are an estimated 13.5 million car accidents every single year.

What are the Odds of Getting Injured in a Car Crash?

Out of the estimated 13.5 million automobile accidents, an estimated 3.2 million people will need medical assistance due to the injuries that they sustained during their car crashes.

odds of dying in a car crash

What are the Odds of Dying in a Car Crash?

So – what are the odds of dying in a car crash? Based on the current number of vehicles on the roads, the amount of time that the average American spends driving, and the current rate of traffic fatalities, most people are estimated to have a 1 in 101 chance of dying in a car crash during your daily route.

An estimated 36,000 car crashes will end in death.

Risk Factors for a Fatal Car Accident

The numbers we previously mentioned are simply averages. Every car crash and every car accident victim is unique.

Many variables come into play when calculating the odds of dying or an estimated car accident survival rate. The driver’s age, health statistics, and a host of other factors can influence an individual’s odds of dying in a car accident.

Lack of Seat Belt

Some claim to not wear a seat belt because of the rare occurrence of seat belt syndrome. The simplest act of bucking one’s seat belt can prevent almost 50% of all vehicular deaths. Over 75% of those who are ejected during a car crash die from the critical injuries they incurred. When drivers or passengers wear a seat belt, they only have a 1% chance of being ejected during a car crash.

Driver’s Age

The age of a driver will usually affect the driver’s behavior, and this can factor into the risk associated with dying in a car accident. We typically see a larger number of younger car accident victims because they don’t have the experience that comes with driving for a number of years. Younger drivers also have the highest risk for dying in a car or causing a fatal car accident. As the driver ages, this associated risk lessens. Young drivers ages 16-22 have a much greater risk of dying in a car crash than older adults, ages 60 and older.

Driver’s Gender

A driver’s gender may also factor into a person’s odds of dying in a car accident. Men have a lower life expectancy in terms of fatal accidents than women. Statistically speaking, men are up to three times as likely to die in fatal car accidents when compared to women. Additionally, men are involved in more fatal car accidents than women are annually.

Driving Habits and Driver Behavior

Obeying traffic laws can drastically reduce motor vehicle crashes. Driver behavior causes around 95% of car crashes, and recognition errors account for 40%. Also decision errors can also increase the lifetime odds of dying in car accidents, as 33% of are attributed to bad driving decisions.

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you may be able to pursue compensation for various losses. Contact an Albany distracted driving accident attorney to learn more.

Intoxicated Driving

Around 30% of drivers involved in single car accidents died because of drugged or drunk driving. Out of all drivers who died in multi car collisions, 13% of those drivers tested positive for either drug use or alcohol use.

If you sustained serious injuries caused by a drunk driver, contact our Albany drunk driving accident lawyer team to learn about your options.

Lack of Traffic

According to the National Highway Traffic Administration and the National Safety Council, the United States has seen a staggering increase in the number of traffic deaths after the rise of COVID-19. This comes even with a 13% decrease in average miles driven.

How is this possible?

According to traffic experts, the explanation for the fatal car accident increases is attributed to the decrease in traffic overall.

Drivers feel more comfortable ignoring the speed limit and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs when there is less traffic on the roads. This also makes being a pedestrian much more dangerous, as negligent drivers, particularly in New York, are even more likely to cause a fatal car crash. If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact an Albany pedestrian accident lawyer.

chances of dying in a car crash

How to Reduce Your Chances of Dying in a Car Crash

Many traffic deaths and common car accident injuries are preventable, as the vast majority of both fatal accidents and non-fatal car accidents are caused by human error and negligence.

Drivers can drastically reduce their chances of being involved in a fatal car accident by following simple instructions and creating safer habits.

A few of these include:

  • Avoiding distracted driving habits.
  • Following traffic laws, including following the speed limits and allowing extra time to reach your destination
  • Avoiding drunk driving and driving while under the influence of drugs.
  • Avoiding driving when you’re tired
  • Keeping a well-maintained vehicle
  • Avoiding tailgating, as this can cause avoidable rear-end accidents
  • Purchasing a newer vehicle that’s equipped with crash-avoiding technology

According to the United States Department of Transportation, local transportation agencies can also help to avoid fatal accidents by designing safer streets.

Common Car Accident Injuries

While following the aforementioned suggestions can certainly help you avoid a motor vehicle crash, accidents can still happen. Seat belts and airbags can help reduce the risk of injury or dying in a car crash.

The most common car accident injuries include:

  • Broken bones and fractured bones
  • Soft tissue injuries including strains, sprains and whiplash
  • Paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Back injuries and spinal cord injuries
  • Amputations
  • Chest injuries
  • Burns
  • Internal organ damage

Car Accident Damages

If you are injured in an Albany car accident, you may be entitled to several damages, including economic damages (such as medical bills and lost income) and non-economic damages (such as disfigurement or pain and suffering) if the other driver acted outside the reasonable person standard.

Additionally, in the state of New York, a judge or jury may additionally award punitive damages in the rare event that the at-fault driver’s behavior was grossly negligent.

In the event that your loved one was involved in a fatal car accident, the surviving spouse or personal representative of the deceased’s estate files a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased’s estate.

Wrongful death action may provide compensation for:

  • Medical bills incurred to treat the car accident injuries before the person’s death
  • All reasonable funeral expenses
  • Loss of future income
  • Compensation for injuries before the wrongful death
  • In some cases, the costs of filing the wrongful death lawsuit

We provide more information here: wrongful death vs survival action

Compensation Distribution for Wrongful Death Damages

If the deceased’s estate files a successful wrongful death claim in Albany, the estate then distributes any compensation received by said wrongful death claim in a specific order that’s specified by law.

  • Compensation is divided equally amongst the surviving spouse and children.
  • If there are no children, all compensation is awarded to the surviving spouse.
  • If there is no surviving spouse, all compensation is awarded to the children.
  • If there are no children or surviving spouse, all compensation is awarded to the parents.
  • If there are no surviving family members, then all compensation is distributed according to the deceased’s last will or estate plan.

If your loved one was killed in a motor vehicle accident, there is a limited window to file a wrongful death claim in New York. The statute of limitations for filing is two years from the deceased’s death date.

chances of dying in a car accident

Albany Car Accident Lawyers

At Bailey, Johnson & Peck, our Albany fatal car accident lawyer team believes that car crash victims and their immediate family members deserve a proper legal evaluation and to be advised of their options for compensation.

Before you need legal assistance for traffic accidents, take the proper action to avoid becoming a car crash statistic or fatality rate. Once you know the critical factors that influence the odds, you can encourage fellow drivers to improve their own personal driving habits.

Call an Albany car accident lawyer at 518-456-0082 to schedule a free consultation today.


Helping Injury Victims
Put Their Lives Back Together

Schedule a Consultation

Our attorneys have extensive experience in personal injury law, including car accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. If you have questions about insurance coverage and how to get the financial compensation you need, contact us today to see how we can help.

We have represented many clients on both sides of personal injury and insurance disputes. Let us use our depth of knowledge and experience to help you and your family get the medical care and financial compensation you need and deserve.