Keeping track of car accident statistics is an important part of avoiding and preventing collisions. Federal and state organizations gather and analyze car accident stats each year to track the prevalence of motor vehicle collisions, injuries, and deaths, as well as to pinpoint what’s causing most crashes. As a driver in Alabama, knowing what the facts say about car accidents could potentially save your life and avoid any need for hiring a car accident lawyer.

If you know what causes crashes, you’ll know what to avoid. Here are the latest car accident statistics available.

U.S. Car Accident Statistics

Crash statistics stay a year or two behind the current year, as it takes time for organizations to collect and process complete data. As of today, 2016 is the most recent year crash statistics are available for most states in the country. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released 2016 fatal crash data on October 6, 2017. Here are three crash facts for the nation from the report:

  1. In 2016, a total of 37,461 people died in United States traffic accidents. This was a 5.6% increase from the previous year. The fatality rate per million increased by 2.6%, to a rate of 1.18 deaths.
  2. Despite the increase in total traffic fatalities, the rates of certain reckless driver behaviors decreased around the country. Both distracted driving and drowsy driving statistics decreased in 2016. At the same time, however, speeding, and drunk driving rates increased.
  3. Distracted drivers took 3,450 lives in 2016. Drowsy driving killed 803 people, while drunk driving took a whopping 10,497 lives. Speeding-related deaths totaled 10,111 fatalities. The number of pedestrian deaths (5,987) was the highest since 1990, while bicyclist deaths (840) was the highest since 1991.

Unintentional injuries are the third-leading cause of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The number one cause of unintentional injuries in the U.S. is motor vehicle accidents. Car accidents take more lives than any other type of personal injury accident, including acts of violence and falls. It is up to every driver in the U.S. to recognize his or her responsibilities, obey the law, and always drive safely and prudently.

2016 Alabama Crash Facts

A few different organizations, including the CDC and Drive Safe Alabama, keep track of statewide car accident statistics. The goal in collecting this data is to increase awareness of the common crash risks and to ultimately decrease the car accident fatality rate in the state. For example, the 2017 Alabama Strategic Safety Plan states that a texting driver is around 23 times more likely to get into a crash than a non-texting driver. Stats like this may serve to discourage drivers from texting behind the wheel. A few state-specific facts are as follows:

  • Alabama’s 2016 average crash fatality rate was higher than the national average for that year.
  • Every 202 seconds in 2016, someone reported another Alabama car accident, according to Drive Safe Alabama.
  • Someone suffered an injury in a motor vehicle accident every 11 minutes and two seconds in Alabama in 2016.
  • In your life as a driver in Alabama, you have more than a one-in-three chance of being in a car accident that involves injury or death.
  • Most Alabama collisions happen in urban, not rural, areas. However, most fatal accidents take place on rural roads.
  • More than half of fatal car accidents in Alabama occurred at night. Almost 60% of fatal accident victims weren’t wearing seatbelts.
  • From 2003 to 2012, 3,190 people died in drunk driving accidents in Alabama, according to the CDC.

Don’t become a statistic or add to Alabama’s car accident death toll. Do your part as a driver and obey traffic rules and regulations. Pay attention to the road, put your phone down, and never drink and drive. If you do get into an Alabama auto accident, hire a lawyer to protect your rights.