The odds that you will get into a car accident over the course of your driving life are very high. As Forbes reports, the average American driver should actually expect to get into at least once accident every 18 years. While many accidents are minor “fender benders,” the reality is that many crashes result in life-changing injuries and deaths.
At Truitt Law Offices, our Indiana personal injury attorneys know that handling a car crash case from start to finish means more than just moving the paper. It means helping a person and a family to get through a crisis. It means carefully tracking medical care and making sure that loose ends are being timely resolved. And it also means fighting to protect a client’s rights and interests when dealing with insurance companies that want to avoid paying anything at all to victims.
Here, to provide some perspective, we provide an overview of recent car accident statistics in Indiana. To discuss the specific facts of your case, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation through one of our offices in Fort Wayne, Huntington or Indianapolis.
What Causes Car Crashes in Indiana?
According to the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, there were 219,112 car accidents in the state in 2017 alone. These crashes caused:
- 911 deaths (up from 821 fatalities in 2016)
- 50,042 non-fatal injuries (down from 51,730 in 2016).
While crashes can occur for a variety of different reasons, four of the leading ones in Indiana are:
- Alcohol – According to statewide statistics, 6,470 individuals were involved in collisions with an impaired driver in 2017. In other words, alcohol served as a factor in almost 3 percent of all auto collisions in the state. The sad reality is that many of these crashes involved drivers who had been previously cited for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Speed – In 2017, there were a total of 28,929 people involved in collisions where speed was a factor. This represents roughly 8 percent of all auto accidents in Indiana. In fact, 23% of all fatal collisions were at least partially attributable to a driver’s excessive and unsafe speed.
- Distraction – During 2017, there were 10,738 collisions attributable at least in part to distractions of some sort. This represents almost 5 percent of all crashes. It’s important to note that distractions can include just about anything that takes the driver’s concentration, hands or eyes off the task of driving. Distractions can include cell phones, GPS, reading, passengers, talking on the phone or outside distractions.
- Reckless or aggressive driving – Finally, it must be noted that many accidents are caused by angry and reckless drivers who simply don’t care about the safety of others. They drive fast, tailgate cars in front of them, whip in and out of lanes of traffic and may even become violent or engage in “road rage.” In fact, in 2017, the following five types of driver misconduct played a role in more than half of the crashes that occurred in our state:
|Following too closely||39,569|
|Failure to yield right of way||35,752|
|Unsafe lane movement||10,213|
|Disregarding traffic signal or signs||7,716|
Are Fatal Crashes on the Rise in Indiana?
Since 2014, there has been a steady upward trend in the number of traffic fatalities in Indiana. As the Indiana University Public Policy Institute reports, between 2014 and 2017, the number of traffic fatalities rose by 22 percent:
Motorcycle Crashes in Indiana
Each year, motorcycle riders and passengers are injured in disproportionate numbers, largely due to the nature of riding. Without any protection except clothing and a helmet, motorcycle riders and passengers are always at a greater risk. So, when others on the road don’t follow the rules, it can be catastrophic.
From 2013 to 2017, the number of motorcycle collisions and fatalities seemed to decline slightly. However, there was an extreme spike in deaths between 2016 (100 deaths) and 2017 (147). This marked a 40 percent increase in a single year. Non-fatal injuries went down by about 2 percent over this time period.
Most notably, of all the Indiana motorcycle riders and passengers who were involved in collisions in 2017, a total of 67 percent suffered injuries, and 4 percent died.
Indiana Pedestrian Accidents
It can be difficult to track pedestrian injuries, because the data often labels pedestrians as merely “non-motorists.” So, bicyclists, pedestrians, scooter riders and many others sometimes get lumped into the same statistics. However, according to Indiana crash stats for 2017, pedestrians and so-called “pedacyclists” or people riding non-motorized cycles of some form, accounted for less than 1 percent of all traffic accident victims. Remarkably, they accounted for as much as 13 percent of all fatalities. Between 2016 and 2017, the number of pedestrian deaths rose from 4.3 percent to 6.1 percent, marking a significant increase in just a single year.
Dealing with Injuries After a Traffic Collision
After you have been involved in a traffic accident of any kind, one of your steps should be to get medical attention. There is little to no harm in going to the hospital for a quick evaluation. If you have suffered serious injury, then you will be in a much better position to get the treatment you need and move on with your life. In some cases, early identification of injuries can lead to shorter treatments and could potentially save your life. Timely documentation of your injuries also will play an important role as you seek compensation from the at-fault driver.
Get Help from Our Indiana Car Accident Attorneys Today
At Truitt Law Offices, our experienced car accident attorneys provide free consultations, and we never charge any costs or fees unless we secure compensation for our clients. Ultimately, our goal is to let our clients focus on the things that matter the most to them like their health and their family, while we take cover of all aspects of their case. To discuss how we can help you after a car accident, call or reach us online today.