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Car Accident Stats: Good News & Bad News

Car crashes take many lives every year and cost millions of dollars. When it comes to road traffic in the U.S. there are roughly 264 million registered cars and 218 million drivers currently holding valid driving licenses. With so many drivers and cars on the roads, there were approximately 6.3 million fatalities, other injuries, and property damage crashes that occurred in the U.S. alone in 2015.

We are always 3-4 years behind when accumulating crash data, so most of the numbers cited by all of us at Seattle Automotive, Inc. in Seattle, WA come from 2015-2016. These numbers are a little overwhelming, but the good news is that the total of traffic-related fatalities per 100,000 people decreased in a major way between 2006 and 2015. In 2015, there were 10.9 traffic fatalities per every 100,000 people, which is a noteworthy decrease from the 17.88 traffic fatalities per 100,000 people reported 18 years ago.

Here's an interesting factoid: The #1 region in the world when it comes to the lowest road traffic rate of fatalities per 100,000 population is Ireland.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S. vehicle crashes eight years ago cost nearly $1 trillion in the loss of productivity and the loss of life.

The good news is that the automotive industry's steady improvements in car safety over the last 10-15 years have reduced the number of roadway fatalities to an all-time low of 32,675 in 2014, despite a litany of safety recalls.

NHTSA reports the number of drivers and passengers killed on the road in the U.S. went up 7.2% to 35,092 in 2015, which made it the deadliest year on the road since 2008. Though the spike was widely expected after NHTSA last month revealed an opening estimate of a 7.7% increase the first year-over-year increase since 2012. In addition, roadway pedestrian fatalities and cyclists hit a two-decade high just three years ago.

Some new findings from the Insurance Research Council's (IRC) Auto Injury Insurance Claims Study illustrate that medical expenses reported by automotive injury claimants continue to climb faster than the rate of inflation, in spite of the fact that the overall severity of the injuries themselves is still on a downward trend.

As cars get safer and drivers are savvier than ever when it comes to operating a motor vehicle and navigate through more and more traffic, fatalities should drop precipitously, according to experts.

 Seattle Automotive, Inc., 2323 Airport Way S, Seattle, WA 98134 

Sources: NHTSA and Wall Street Journal



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