Automobile accidents provide some horrific statistics. Vehicles weigh an average of 4,000 lbs, and combined with velocity, the damage can be fatal. The best way to avoid these accidents is to be alert and aware when you’re driving, to have a car that has the latest in safety features, and to drive proactively. A simple run to the store can be the end of someone. Thankfully, each year’s new model of cars brings a higher standard of safety.
Automobile accidents happen everywhere. Worldwide, they are responsible for 1.3 million deaths each year, which equates to an average of 3287 per day. In the United States, the yearly death toll resulting from automobile accidents is 37,000. That statistic is high, however it is a lot lower per capita than it is in some countries due to the advanced safety features our cars have, as well as the quality of roads and assistance.
Death due to an automobile accident, however, is the leading cause of death in people aged 15 – 29 years old. It is also responsible for an average of 1600 children under 15 to die in the United States every year. These deaths are not always as a result for a vehicle-on-vehicle collision. Pedestrians are also in danger, particularly small children, of being hit by a car that is either backing up or driving. Over 74,000 pedestrians a year get hit by a vehicle alone.
Injuries are far more common than fatalities. Every year between 20-50 million people are injured or disabled in an accident worldwide. In the United States alone that number is a shocking 2.35 million. It’s no wonder that accidents account for $230.6 billion dollars in compensation each year, which averages out to about $820 per person. The level of compensation a person receives depends on their case and the injuries sustained.
To make sure that you get the compensation owed to you, make sure to hire a car wreck attorney Baton Rouge to access experienced and superior legal advice. You need to be represented by professionals who know the law inside and out. Accidents can be traumatizing and can take a long time to recover from. You will want your compensation to cover any medical expenses, to pay you for the income you have lost, and for the pain and suffering you’re enduring.
Never settle if you’ve been injured. If the injury was serious enough, it could seriously affect the remainder of your life and your means to support yourself. Having insurance is necessary because it is there to protect you from being left high and dry without help or compensation. Losing income because you have been hospitalized should never be a reality. You should be able to focus on healing and recuperating, and not worrying about how you and your family are going to survive without your pay check this month. Even something as “minor” as whiplash can severely impact your ability to work and provide. Don’t settle, know your options.
When you are in an accident, you could suffer from many debilitating injuries. The type of injury you can receive depends entirely on the type of accident you’ve endured. Here’s a comprehensive list of the injuries that can befall you, so that you can be aware and be proactive in your day-to-day approach:
Protecting Yourself from Non-Traffic Accidents
Non-traffic accidents are the accidents that result in injury, but not necessarily with the car in motion. Accidents that occur when the car is parked are the injuries that your car insurance company won’t cover, however they are also the most common. These are the accidents where a little caution and common sense will protect you from harm. Also teach your children to respect vehicles from a young age. They should always be wary of cars backing up, should never play on the vehicle itself, and shouldn’t hide underneath the car. Then there are also careless acts like leaving your child in the car. Hypothermia and hyperthermia do happen and they can be lethal, particularly to small children who have been left in the car during summer or winter.
Here are the top injuries that you can easily prevent:
- Radiator or antifreeze burns – hot liquid naturally burns. When you’re checking your car for fluid levels or if it has overheated, always use gloves. The fluid can reach 240°F when it is under pressure, so be careful!
- Flying objects – when you suddenly brake, even if you don’t hit the person in front of you, you might be injured. Flying objects injure approximately 20,000 people a year. To protect yourself, pack smartly and secure or keep loose objects in compartments.
- Falling – over 28,000 people a year injure themselves either falling against, or out of their vehicles a year. A little patience and care can prevent this injury with ease. Similarly, don’t allow your children to play in truck beds or on the car.
- Getting hurt by the car door – there are many ways you can hurt yourself on the car door. It could swing outwards or inwards too quickly and hit or pinch your leg if you aren’t fully inside yet. You can close the door on your fingers, or hit your head on the way in (or out). You can sprain or strain yourself if you get out of the car incorrectly and you have a pre-existing condition. Further, never allow your children to climb on your car. Not only can they damage the car cosmetically they may hurt themselves.
- Getting cut – over 68,000 people get cut by their older vehicles. Jagged, unfinished or even rusting parts of vehicles will easily cut through skin and fabric. These injuries can be prevented by properly maintaining or upgrading your car.
- Being hit from back-overs – these are the injuries that people sustain when a car unsuspectingly backs into them when reversing. As a pedestrian, it is necessary to be wary of vehicles that are reversing and to wait for them to acknowledge you or stop before walking behind them. Drivers should, however, be the most careful. Children and elderly are at most risk for being hit by a reversing vehicle. Extra care and precaution should always be taken when around a reversing car and when you are reversing.
- Overexertion – if your car fails, runs out of gas, or is otherwise stuck on the side of the road, do not try to push it by yourself. Even in neutral, vehicles weigh around 4,000 lbs. You can injure yourself through overexertion, and not accomplish much of anything. Always call for assistance first.
These are the accidents that occur most frequently because people are careless, aren’t thinking, or rushing. They are all easily avoidable with some care and caution. If you have children, always stress the importance of road safety and teach them to respect vehicles. For instance, children should never run out onto the street to get a ball or any other toy without looking both ways across the street and making sure it is safe, first. They should also refrain from playing on the roads, and always watch out for reverse lights.
Adults similarly also need to be careful around vehicles. Commuting in a car every day can make one lax when it comes to safety, but an accident can occur at any time.
Protecting Yourself from Collisions
Collisions are when your car is hit by another car or vice versa. These accidents cause fatalities or serious injuries that can impact a person’s life. While you cannot avoid the possibility of being in a serious accident, you can prepare and proactively protect yourself.
- Have a newer car
Your last line of defence when you are on the road is your car. Even if your old car was, when it was produced, the top in safety certifications, it doesn’t mean it is safe today. New cars have top features that actively protect you on the road. Not only are they tested to protect you in crashes, but they have features that prevent you from getting into an accident in the first place, such as an automatic braking system. People’s attention can fail, and when that happens, automatic systems kick in.
- Be proactive
Be clear and focused when driving. Put your phone away, keep your eyes on the road, and actively check all mirrors and monitor the behaviour of cars around you. Many driving schools today teach young people how to be aware and react to specific behaviour on the road. For instance, whenever you are passing a parked car, always put your food on the brake and look under the car for feet. This is in case children run out from behind the car. Being prepared for the worst means you can react appropriately.
Car accidents can always happen. Knowing what the most common types of accidents are is a great way to be aware and careful in the future. Being proactive is the best first step towards being safe. If you end up in an accident, know what actions you can take to securing your future. Being injured isn’t the end, however you need to know what you are en