With time and experience, drivers start to feel comfortable behind the wheel. Perhaps they start holding the steering wheel with a knee while they use both hands to open a soda, or maybe they pay more attention to their morning podcast than their commute.
No matter how vigilant drivers are starting out, bad habits soon create a dangerous mix for everyone on the road. But how serious are the consequences, and what percentage of car accidents are fatal?
That depends on where you’re driving, when you’re driving, what vehicles are involved, and if any drivers were impaired.
Percentage of Fatal Accidents: 2019 Data
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that about .5% of all police-reported U.S. car accidents in 2019 were fatal. While that may seem like a small percentage, it is not a small number. That equals just over 33,200 fatal crashes during which more than 36,000 people suffered fatal injuries.
In 2019, 5,005 people were killed in U.S. car crashes involving large trucks. Of those deaths, nearly 90% were either passenger vehicle occupants or pedestrians. In Florida, about 7% of all fatal crashes involved large trucks in 2015.
As of 2019, large truck involvement increased to 10% of all fatal Florida crashes.
Some Florida Counties Are More Dangerous Than Others
Here are the Florida counties that had the most fatal car accidents in 2019:
- Palm Beach
More than 50% of the fatal Florida car accidents happened in those 10 counties, according to federal and state data.
Impairment Increases Driving Dangers
Driver impairment ranges from drivers distracted by texts to those who have alcohol or illegal drugs in their system. Regardless of the cause, impaired driving is one of the top causes of fatal car crashes.
1 in 4 Fatal Crashes Involve Alcohol
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that a person is killed in a drunk driving crash every 50 minutes.
Nearly 25% of all fatal Florida crashes in 2019 involved drivers impaired by alcohol. In 2018, drunk driving killed more than 200 children aged 14 and younger.
In addition to the routine dangers of night driving such as low lighting, federal data says that you’re three times more likely to encounter a drunk driver at night.
Distracted Driving Killed More Than 2,800 People In 2018
Distracted driving is a broad category. It includes drivers who are eating, fiddling with radio settings, texting, checking their GPS, interacting with occupants, and more. Unfortunately, these common behaviors are estimated to have caused more than 400,000 crash-related injuries in 2018 alone.
Ultimately, when it comes to what percentage of car accidents are fatal, the final numbers depend on a variety of factors that you encounter every single day.
What should I do if I lost someone to a fatal car accident?
If someone you love has been killed in a Florida car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for wrongful death and other damages.
A Florida car accident attorney will guide you through the lawsuit process and make sure you know all the options for your case. Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath has won millions of dollars in settlements for clients during wrongful death car accident cases.
In one such lawsuit, Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath got their client a $5,000,000 settlement.
Contact Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today for a free wrongful death car accident case evaluation.