There are a seemingly endless number of factors that contribute to the thousands of fatal car accidents which occur each year. In 2016, an average of 102 motor vehicle fatalities occurred each day, which is equal to one fatality every 14 minutes. Your likelihood of being involved in a fatal crash could increase depending on, among other factors, where, when, and who is driving.

Where are you driving?

Statistically, there are certain places that car accidents commonly occur. Accidents often happen within 25 miles of a person’s home. Car crashes frequently take places at intersections, stoplights, busy two-lane roads, rural highways, and parking lots.

  • Intersections
    • Rear-end collisions are common at stoplights because drivers fail to stop or recognize the vehicle in front of them is stopped at a red light. Multiple vehicle accidents, like the domino effect, can occur when the initial crash occurs further from the stoplight.
    • At intersections regulated by only a stop or yield sign, side-impact collisions are common when a vehicle is attempting to turn left across a busy road.
  • Parking lots
    • Though usually taking place at lower speeds, many fender benders take place in parking lots. The number of vehicles parked so closely together paired with the lack of traffic rules give rise to chaotic conditions prone to car crashes.

When are you driving?

According to the National High Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017 more fatal car crashes occurred in the month of July, with September and October closely behind. Additionally, nonfatal car accident injuries occurred in October more than any other month. The 2017 NHTSA data shows that most fatal car accidents occur on Friday and Saturday nights between 9:00 pm and Midnight. Nonfatal injury crashes most commonly occurred during the weekdays between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm, with the highest number happening on Friday.

Who is driving?

In 2016, drivers 15-20 years old accounted for 5.4 percent of the total number of licensed U.S. drivers and 9 percent of all drivers involved in fatal car crashes were those young drivers. The rate of young male drivers involved in fatal car accidents was twice the amount of young female drivers. Even though there were more licensed females, for all ages 16 and over, male drivers were involved in fatal accidents nearly 3 times more than females. The older population, 65+, accounted for 18 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2016. Older driver car accident fatalities increased 14 percent from 2007-2016, likely due to the increase in the older population.

Car accidents are unpredictable and while avoiding all dangers which contribute to fatal crashes is impossible, it is possible to decrease your likelihood of being involved in a collision. There are many factors that contribute to car crash fatalities; thus, it is important to be aware of your surroundings so you can anticipate a dangerous situation.