Any vehicle accident has the potential to cause injury or death. Even slow-speed crashes have the potential for serious injuries and damage for those vehicles involved. So which category of vehicle crash is the most likely to be fatal?
According to the Center for Disease Control, car accidents account for 32,000 fatalities and over 2 million injuries per year. While this number has declined significantly over the years thanks to improvements in motor vehicle safety features, the data shows that it still contributes to making accidents the fourth leading cause of mortality in the United States.
Many people are already familiar with the contributing factors in some of the deadliest vehicle accidents. Drunk driving, excessive speed, and adverse weather conditions such as snow can create dangerous situations that make a fatality in a motor vehicle accident more likely. If you or a member of your family has experienced catastrophic injuries due to a deadly crash, call our experienced truck accident lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC today.
When dealing with crashing where a semi-truck is involved, there will frequently be injuries sustained by the driver and passengers of the smaller car. This makes car versus semi an incredibly dangerous type of crash. Because of the difference in size between the two vehicles, fatalities often occur.
The height of a truck combined with the size of its trailer makes being alert to smaller vehicles incredibly difficult. The lack of visibility truck drivers have when behind the wheel of a big rig can lead to catastrophic injuries.
Additionally, since the semi-truck sits much higher off the ground than a passenger car, the car can slide underneath the trailer if the truck stops suddenly. As the car moves underneath, the top of the car can be completely sheared off, often resulting in severe or fatal injuries.
Truck crashes caused 5,005 fatalities in 2019. That is approximately a sixth of all car crash deaths. In one such crash, a semi-truck killed four people after rear-ending cars stopped in traffic on interstate route 70 in Colorado.
Crashes that involve one passenger motor vehicle colliding with one or more other passenger motor vehicles account for almost half of all traffic crash fatalities. With respect to the mode of transportation, it is the single most fatal form of crash.
One of the most dangerous of these types of car accidents is head-on collisions. In this type of crash, the two cars strike each other with the front of each vehicle. Why the wreckage and injury are so devastating in this type of crash is because of a concept called combined speed. Because the vehicles are traveling towards each other, we measure the force by adding the two speeds together. The impact virtually guarantees that safety equipment like airbags cannot fully protect the occupants from being hurt and are often fatal.
Two more incredibly dangerous types of car crashes are side-impact or t-bone and rollover crashes. What makes these so likely to result in injury to drivers and passengers alike is the lack of protection in these car accidents. Almost all of the services provided by the safety features are designed to protect the driver and occupants from forward or rearward contact. Impact from the side or the top of the vehicle exposes the weakest structures to great forces. These accidents often result in fatalities.
A bus has many of the same problems as a semi-truck. The lack of visibility for the drivers makes negotiating around smaller vehicles a challenge. The main difference between a truck and a bus is the number of victims. Buses are designed to carry up to sixty or more occupants at a time. This means that there is a lot more potential for people to be injured as a result of these accidents.
This includes school buses. In most states, school buses must follow even more strict laws than other types of vehicles. As one would expect, accidents involving these types of vehicles are relatively rare. However, when they do happen they are often associated with occupants and other drivers being injured which resulted in 109 fatalities last year.
Motorcycle accidents accounted for nearly 14% of all motor vehicle fatalities in 2019. When you look at a motorcycle it becomes evident why they are more dangerous than either trucks or cars. Given that the drivers are not covered or enclosed the resulting accidents are far more likely to produce catastrophic injuries or fatalities. This leads motorcycles to be approximately 29 times more deadly than driving a car.
The most common cause of death in a motorcycle fatality is head or neck trauma. This makes wearing a helmet incredibly important when riding a motorcycle. According to the center for disease control, wearing a helmet saved 1,859 lives in 2016 and could have saved an additional 806 lives had all US motorcycle drivers worn helmets. The CDC strongly advocates wearing a helmet for protecting riders from the dangers of head trauma.
The loss of human life is always the most tragic event that can occur. Police and emergency medical services will respond to the site and begin treating anyone injured in the accident. Once the site is secure and any surviving victims are treated or taken to the hospital they will begin their investigation. During this time specialized investigators will survey the damage at the site and attempt to reconstruct the accident. They may also review any videos that captured the accident, take measurements and photographs of intersections, or take and search the phone of any involved parties, especially those who were driving. Additional steps in the investigative process may involve interviewing witnesses and any party associated with any of the vehicles involved with the crash. Finally, a survey of traffic signals that affected an important intersection could be helpful as well.
All of this data will help investigators present a determination of fault. Their interests lie in figuring out what or who caused the accident. The results of this investigation could potentially determine civil liability and possibly even criminal charges.
The economic data is clear. Being involved in a serious accident can leave victims with decades worth of financial strain. An accident where fatalities are involved can leave the family of victims adding to their grief by having to worry about paying their bills. Some of the costs born by survivors and injured victims include:
Recovery from this type of life-changing incident may take a lifetime, even if the psychical trauma heals in an hour to a week. Making sure that you or your loved ones can deal with this type of event is crucial. Hiring an attorney to ensure you or your family get the compensation they deserve from an accident of this nature is your best defense against what life may throw at you.
The expert attorneys at Regan Zambri Long PLLC have over 100 years of collective experience in seeking justice for those injured in motor vehicle crashes and have recovered multi-million dollar settlements for their clients in some of the deadliest vehicle accidents.
Whether your incident was an accident with a large truck or bus, another car, or a motorcycle our lawyers may be able to help guide you through this traumatic and confusing journey. Allow our expert attorneys to shoulder the burden of fighting for the compensation you deserve. This will free you up to do the most important thing you can, to pick up the pieces left behind by a tragic accident and get back to the things that matter most to you.