Many people hear sad stories about fatal accidents on the news, but they may not understand what the risks are that they will die in such an accident themselves. A recent report sheds light on the risk of dying in a car accident as well as the risks for dying to other common causes.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety , fatal accidents have significantly declined over the last few years. While this is good news, the risk of being killed in such an accident is still quite high as compared to deaths caused by other things.
Data from 2013 compiled by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 33,804 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in that year. That represents a rate of death of 10.7 per 100,000, which equates to a risk of one in 77, the same as the risk of being killed by a firearm. Other common causes include deaths due to drugs or alcohol at a risk of one in 34, fire at a risk of one in 821, poisonings at one in 53 and heart disease at one in four.
A strong move by vehicle manufacturers to incorporate the latest safety technologies into new cars is probably contributing greatly to the decline in motor vehicle accident deaths. However, the comparative risk of dying in such an accident demonstrates that there is still much work that needs to be done. When a person suddenly dies in a fatal accident, the surviving family members are often overwhelmed by a combination of grief and sudden financial losses. If the accident was caused by another driver's negligence, they may want to meet with an attorney to discuss seeking compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the responsible motorist.