32,719 people died in motor vehicle collisions in 2013 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That number is nearly identical to the that of 2014 (32,675 fatalities). However, 2015 saw an estimated eight percent rise in traffic fatalities. Aside from 2015, the general trend is a decline in fatalities and injuries, especially when observing the danger in relation to miles driven. Back in 1964, there were 45,000 fatalities annually and the rate of death was 5.39 per 100 million miles driven. In 2013, that rate was just 1.10 deaths per 100 million miles driven. Injuries have declined as well. In 1989, the rate of severe injury was 157 per 100 million miles driven. In 2013 that number was down to 78 per 100 million miles driven. Thanks to technology advancements like front and side airbags and crumple zones, and social changes such as the majority of people now wearing seatbelts, these injuries and fatalities have decreased dramatically. However, driving is still by far the most dangerous daily activity in which most of us partake. Knowing how and why collisions occur is an important step in further increasing the safety of automotive travel.
Head On Collisions
Head on collisions are some of the most dangerous auto accidents due to the huge forces applied to both vehicles. To put it in terms of an early elementary school school math problem, if one car is traveling at 60 miles an hour and the other is traveling at 65 miles an hour, a head on collision would be equivalent to one of those vehicles slamming into a parked vehicle at 125 miles an hour. The chances of survival, let alone avoiding extensive time in a hospital, is small in high speed or even medium speed head on collisions. With the increasingly dangerous numbers of drivers using cellphones, lane departures (veering into oncoming traffic) is a real threat. According to Automotive Fleet, at least one driver in 40 percent of all auto collisions was using a cell phone. Head on collisions can also occur due to hydroplaning in wet conditions, drowsy driving, drunk driving, speeding and losing control, and a variety of other scenarios where a driver displays a high level of negligence.
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Side Impact Collisions
Intersections are inherently dangerous, and many side impact collisions occur in busy intersections. Whether someone steps on the gas to make a yellow light that ends up being red, or an impatient driver pulls out in front of traffic believing they can make it in time, both scenarios can end in catastrophe. Side impact collisions can also occur during during improper merging or lane changes on the highway or smaller roads, and can happen at lower speeds in parking lots. Whatever the case may be, it is likely that one or more parties displayed negligence and may be held liable for the other’s damages.
Rear End Collisions
Rear end collisions occur in all types of scenarios. From distracted texting drivers, impatient tailgaters on the freeway, or people not giving enough space during poor weather driving, rear ends can often end in severe cases of whiplash, spinal, and facial injuries.
Although not common, rollovers, like head on collisions, are one of the most dangerous types of auto wrecks imaginable. The speed of the vehicle is often high, which adds to the dangers. Rollovers can happen in single car crashes due to speeding around corners or over poor road surfaces (such as icy or wet pavement) or they can occur in multiple car pileups on the highway. Having a car equipped with front and side airbags greatly improves the chances of the occupants’ survival in the event of a rollover.
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Pedestrian and Cyclist Collisions
Finally, pedestrian and cyclist collisions almost always end in serious trauma for one party only: the one not encased in multiple tons of steel and safety glass. The majority of auto collisions that involve pedestrians and cyclists are due to the driver’s negligence, either failing to give enough space, speeding, failing to yield the right of way, or not seeing the pedestrian or cyclist, which is not an acceptable excuse.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle collision, or you were a pedestrian or cyclist and were hit by a car, give the the Law Offices of Roger Ghai, P.C. a call today at 770-792-1000 to begin the conversation of what you may be owed and your legal options to ensure that those damages are paid in full.