Car accidents a major cause of early death

Each year, many people lose their lives in car accidents in California. Fatality rates for motor vehicle accidents has declined in the last three years, but recent data still shows they are a significant cause of early death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, 2013 brought 33,804 car accident fatalities. This number was out of 2.6 million fatalities overall for the year, which equates to a rate of 10.7 out of 100,000. People thus have a one in 77 chance of dying in a motor vehicle accident.

By comparison, the odds of dying in a fire are one out of 821, and from alcohol or drugs, one out of 34. While the leading cause of death is still heart disease with odds of death standing at one out of four, the high numbers of car accidents still show they need to be addressed. One interesting comparison is that the odds for dying by a firearm also stands at one in 77.

While the overall decline over the past three years is promising, more still needs to be done to further reduce the risk of dying in car accidents. To help address the problem, car manufacturers continually look for new technology that they can incorporate for safety. As more safety technology is used in new cars, it should be expected for fatality rates to continue decreasing. There is still a strong risk of dying in a car crash, however. When a person dies in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another motorist, the decedent's surviving family members may want to meet with an attorney to discuss the advisability of filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party.

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