Car Accident Facts & FAQ’s
11 Facts about car accidents in the U.S.
- Most car accidents occur within 3 miles of the home
- Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens
- The most common causes of car accidents are distracted driving, driving while under the influence, fatigue, weather conditions, and medical or emotional impairments
- Nearly half of all car accidents were related to alcohol use
- The average number of car accidents each year is 6 million
- Nearly 1.3 million people die from a car accident
- On average, 3 million people are injured due to a car accident each year
- Each year, about 2 million people in car accidents experience permanent injuries
- 1 in 7 people do not wear a seatbelt while driving
- Wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of death by 45%
- The risk of serious injury is reduced by 50% when wearing a seatbelt
6 Facts about Motorcycle accidents in the U.S.
- Motorcycles are 27 times deadlier than cars
- Most motorcycle accidents happen at the beginning of short trips
- 50% of motorcycle-vehicle crashes occur at intersections
- Wearing a helmet reduces the risk of death by 37%
- Almost half of all fatal accidents were related to alcohol use
- 2 out of 3 single-vehicle accidents are a result of rider error such as under-cornering, over-braking and excess speed
Car accident FAQ’s
Auto accidents can be scary, stressful and life changing. It can make it a very difficult time to think straight and understand what to do. You will most likely have many questions about how to handle the situation. It’s important you know the steps and measures that should be taken immediately following an accident. Knowing the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions after an auto accident can be helpful.
I was just in a car accident, what is the first thing I should do?
- If you or anyone else is seriously injured you should call an ambulance first
- If it is possible and necessary, you should move your vehicle away from oncoming traffic
- Call the police to file an official report, especially if there is:
- Serious bodily injury
- Significant property damage
- Gather information from the other party and witnesses and evidence.
It’s important to understand the order in which these events take place may vary and might even need to be postponed. If you or someone else is seriously injured and need medical attention that takes priority. Gathering information and evidence may have to be postponed while the ambulance transports those needing immediate medical attention.
It’s also important that you (or anyone else involved) do not leave the scene of the accident unless being transported to the hospital before taking care of the necessary steps such as filing a police report and gathering information and evidence.
What information should I get from other involved parties?
First, you should share gather the following information for all those involved in the accident, as well as sharing your own information. This includes:
- Contact information such as addresses, phone numbers, email, etc.
- Insurance information
- Each vehicle’s license plate numbers
- Each vehicle’s year, make, model and color
- Each vehicle’s registration number
- Each driver’s license number
If you decide to get a statement from witnesses make sure you also get their names and contact information.
What type of evidence should I collect?
When collecting evidence the best way to do so is by taking photos of the following:
- All vehicle damage
- All physical injuries
- Any evidence that may show the road conditions
- Any evidence that may show weather conditions
It is important to note that gathering evidence may be time sensitive. It’s best to do so as quickly as possible, especially for things such as physical injury and weather conditions.
Do I need to call the police?
It’s usually best to call the police to file an official report. Having a police report on file can be beneficial if you discover later injuries from the accident or if the other parties attempt to sue.
You should certainly call the police if there has been:
- Serious bodily injury
- Significant property damage
Do I call the police for a minor accident?
The answer to this may vary slightly from state to state. Some states do not require you to call the police if the accident didn’t result in injury, while some states do not require it if there was neither injury nor property damage from the accident. If you plan to file an insurance claim however, it may be best to file a report with the police. If you are unsure of whether you need to call the police or not, it is usually safer to call them and have a report on file.
Should I get a copy of the police report?
Yes. The police report is an official document that also reveals the details and accounts of the accident. Having a copy of the police report can be helpful to you, especially when:
- Filing an insurance claim, specifically a personal injury or property damage claim
- Working with the claims adjuster and they decide to move forward
- How the insurance company determines fault
Can I leave the scene if the damage isn’t bad?
No, never leave the scene without first exchanging information with all those involved, even if there is very minor damage.
How do I know who was at fault for the accident?
To discover who is at fault for an accident an investigation is typically required. The investigation will look at any traffic violations or carelessness of the driver. The investigation may also include further examination of any vehicle defects and the layout of the accident scene.
Do I need to admit fault for the accident?
No, you should never admit fault for an accident. Even if you think you are at fault for the accident, there may be other aspects you did not consider. For many the first reaction after an accident (especially if you feel you may be at fault) is to apologize. However, apologizing can be seen as admitting guilt. Avoid apologizing because once you do you may have lost your case and admitted guilt. The investigation will determine who is at fault.
In a rear-end collision, is the rear driver always liable?
No, not always. Some states may assume the rear-driver to be liable unless they can prove they are not. However, there are circumstances in which the rear driver would not be seen as liable such as if the front driver failure to use turn signals, failure to repair faulty brake lights or failure to pull over when the car breaks down.