You don't worry about car accidents. You've been driving for years and you have never even been involved in one. You have certainly never gotten hurt. You feel like they get a lot of talk on the news, but you do not think they're all that big of a threat.
Of course, you know they happen. You have seen those news reports almost every single day. You just do not feel like they happen that often.
The truth may surprise you. The fact that you have not gotten into an accident may be luck as much as anything else. To help paint the real picture, here are a few concerning facts about motor vehicle accidents in the United States.
1. Most people get involved in car accidents with injuries
Really. A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that two thirds of all motorists will get in an accident that results in injuries to at least one person in that accident.
2. On average, drivers crash one time per decade
You may have incredible skill behind the wheel, but that's not all that matters. Other drivers make mistakes. There's nothing you can do to stop someone else from running a red light. If you have been driving for 10 years without a crash, you are probably due.
3. When you do get in an accident, the odds that someone will get seriously hurt sit at 1 in 20
That does not mean you will get hurt, but someone in the car will. It could be a family member, a co-worker or a friend. Those are the statistical risks you face every single day when you pull out onto the road.
4. For most age groups, car accidents remain the leading cause of unintentional death
Nothing takes more lives for those between 5 and 35 years old than car accidents. The same is true for anyone between 55 and 64. For five out of nine age groups, car accidents are the leading cause of death.
5. It's the second leading cause of death for everyone else
The other four age groups see accidental drowning, poisoning and falls as their leading causes of unintentional death. Car accidents are not far behind, ranking second for each group. That means they are the first or second leading cause of unintentional death for everyone in the United States.
6. Drivers get complacent
Never letting your guard down is an important part of defensive driving, but can you really do it? For how long? Eventually, even safe drivers tend to get bored and complacent.
As you can see, the chances are very good that you will be involved in an accident eventually. Make sure you know what options you have if it happens.