Nobody likes to dwell on worst-case scenarios or spend all their time worrying about the future. However, being aware of the dangers present in our lives is a normal and healthy part of the human experience. It’s important to remember that we can face serious risks as we go about our day-to-day activities. Using motor vehicles and public roadways is one of the more dangerous activities some of us participate in every single day without really thinking about the potential risks.
Thinking about serious, fatal car accidents can be stressful and upsetting, but having a good understanding of the statistics behind roadway fatalities (and what to do if you are a witness or party to such a crash) will only make you a better and more informed driver, which keeps you, your family, and your fellow motorists safer.
What to Do If You Are Involved in (or Witness) a Serious Car Accident
If you witness an automobile accident, or are involved in one, it may not be immediately apparent whether someone was fatally injured. In the moment, this need not be your number one concern. There are basic steps you can follow for responding to any roadway accident, whether you expect someone has died in it or not:
- Account for all drivers and passengers in all involved vehicles. If anyone is in immediate physical danger (i.e., left in a burning vehicle or busy roadway) move them out of harm’s way. Any other injured parties should be left exactly where they are until they can be treated and transported by an EMT or other medical professional. Trying to move someone who has suffered an unseen spine, neck, or head injury can lead to serious additional damage or even permanent paralysis. (If anyone needs immediate life-saving or resuscitative first aid, have someone else take care of the next step and jump ahead to step 3.)
- Call the authorities. In most cases, a single call to 911 should be sufficient to get police and emergency medical personnel on their way, as well as firefighters when necessary. If you need to remain on the phone for any length of time, try to multi-task and move ahead to step 3 while you talk.
- Administer first aid to the best of your ability. The extent to which you can help here will depend on your medical knowledge, aptitude, and available first aid equipment. If other witnesses have medical expertise, follow their lead and assist as you are able. If you regularly drive or ride in a vehicle, it’s a great idea to keep a first aid kit with you and to take a first aid refresher course every few years.
- If appropriate, you can begin exchanging information with other drivers involved after any injured parties have been cared for and no one is in immediate danger. Typically, everyone involved should get everyone else’s name, contact information, and insurance details. Be tactful in the aftermath of serious accidents, however. If someone has died or been seriously injured, it’s okay to let police and other officials handle the collection and exchange of information.
- Call an attorney. If, in the aftermath of an automobile crash, you have been injured, a loved one has been killed, or you have any concerns about determining liability for the accident, it’s important to seek legal representation right away. In the greater Houston area, you can reach out to Stevenson & Murray Attorneys at Law for compassionate, powerful, and responsive legal assistance with any case stemming from a serious automobile accident. Police, insurance agents, or other motorists may attempt to ask you questions that you are uncomfortable answering, or too emotional to handle in the moment. When this happens, you have a legally protected right to not answer anything until your attorney is present.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Fatal Texas Car Crashes
Q: What Are the Odds of Dying in a Car Accident?
A: Someone’s lifetime odds of dying in a car accident in the United States are around 1 in 101. This makes car accidents a top ten cause of death in the U.S., ranking near suicides, falls, and opioid overdoses. This is, of course, only an average, and there are things you can do to drastically reduce your odds of dying in a motor vehicle collision, such as adhering to all traffic laws, never driving while distracted, always using your seat belt, and limiting your time spent in cars in general.
Q: How Many People Die in Car Accidents in Texas Annually?
A: There are typically between 3,500 and 3,800 traffic fatalities in Texas in a given year, with a sharp (nearly 8%) increase seen from 2019 to 2020 despite a reduction in average miles driven. In Texas, there are around 1.5 deaths for every 100,000,000 vehicle miles traveled.
Q: How Many Car Crashes Happen Annually in the U.S.?
A: The United States sees around 6 million car crashes every year, resulting in about half that number of injuries. Thankfully, only a small percentage of these crashes result in deaths, and that number can be further mitigated by personal choices like obeying all traffic laws, proper use of safety equipment, reducing unnecessary car trips, and never driving while intoxicated or using a phone behind the wheel.
Q: How Many Car Accidents Are Fatal Annually in the U.S.?
A: Over 30,000 fatal car crashes occur every year throughout the United States, with around 36,000 people killed in such accidents. In other words, there are nearly 100 traffic fatalities every day in this country. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 36,096 people died in 33,244 accidents involving 51,247 individual vehicles in 2019. This means Texas accounts for nearly 10% of all automotive fatalities in the nation, which makes some sense, given our sprawling cities and the long driving distances between them.
Seeking Help in the Aftermath of Fatal Traffic Accidents
A serious traffic accident can change your entire world in an instant. It’s important to have skilled and compassionate professionals on your side so that you can focus on healing and putting your life back together. If you’re suffering from the results of a car accident in the Houston area, Stevenson & Murray Attorneys at Law can help you develop a legal strategy to recover the compensation you need to heal.