Single-car accidents claim more lives than other accidents

When most people think about fatal car accidents, they imagine a gruesome scene involving a multiple-car pileup. However, a new report indicates that fewer fatalities happen in accidents involving more than one vehicle.

According to an article by the Washington Post, statistics indicate that single-car accidents are responsible for more fatalities than accidents involving more than one car. In 2011 and 2012, single-car crashes claimed the lives of over 1,500 people in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia combined. Federal statistics indicate that single-car accidents are a national problem, as they account for 65 percent of fatal crashes, compared to 60 percent in the tri-state area.

The Deputy Director of the Governor's Highway Safety Association expressed that the following factors contribute to the high number of single-car fatal accidents:

  • Distracted or inattentive driving.
  • Alcohol consumption prior to driving.
  • Driving without a seatbelt.
  • Lack of sleep or drowsiness.
  • Over-correction of the vehicle.
  • Attempts to avoid colliding with another vehicle.

The article explains that single-car accidents, while so common, are often considered to be the most avoidable, due to the fact that the main causes are usually due to driver error.

According to the article, from 2009 to 2011, almost two-thirds of fatal traffic accidents in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia were single-car crashes. A representative of the Mid-Atlantic Automobile Association of America (AAA) offered the concerning fact that nearly two-thirds of all Washington, D.C. metro-area daily commuters are alone on their commute. These commuters are often at risk due to factors like distraction, rushing, and busy, rush-hour traffic conditions. last year, 157 people were killed in single-car accidents in the District of Columbia and nearby communities within commuting distance.

Last year, in the State of Maryland, nearly 275 people lost their lives in single-car crashes, beginning as early as dawn on the morning of January 1, 2012. That morning, a 20-year-old and an 18-year-old lost their lives when their SUV hit a curb, went over the sidewalk towards a fence, and came to a stop by colliding with a tree. More recently, November's single-car crash victims included a young police recruit, and three family members, in two separate accidents, both in which the vehicle struck a tree. The stories of overturned vehicles, vehicles colliding with medians and fences, and vehicles crashing after crossing into opposite-lane roadways are numerous, and statistics indicate no signs of a crash-free tomorrow.

While some single-car crashes are reported as involving just one person in the car, many involve passengers who also lose their lives or suffer from crash-related injuries. If you have been injured in a car accident or a loved one has lost their life in a crash, an experienced attorney can help you reach the best possible outcome for your case, and assist you in securing the recovery you deserve.