The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides that in 2014, there were 901 traffic fatalities in the state of Michigan. This amounts to 9.09 fatalities per 100,000 Michigan residents, only slightly less than the national average of 10.25 fatalities per 100,000 residents.
As one of the leading causes of death in the United States, motor vehicle accidents concern us all. Fortunately, the vast majority of auto accidents are not fatal. Approximately 80 people are killed on US roads every day, but more than 5 million non-fatal crashes are reported annually. Fatal crashes typically involve the following:
- Speeding: Most people have been guilty of driving over the speed limit at some point. Even driving 10 miles above the speed limit increases the chances of being involved in a crash. Speed limits are set for a reason. If vehicle drivers are going too fast for a particular area, they may be unable to respond to road hazards, animals running into the road, vehicles backing out of driveways, or cars entering from blind corners.
- Distracted driving: In the age of smart phones and other electronic devices, distracted driving has become increasingly deadly. Although texting is one of the main types of distracted driving, it is far from the only type. Adjusting navigation systems or the stereo, applying make-up, talking to passengers, and talking on the phone all take attention from the road. Even minor distractions can prove fatal.
- Driving under the influence: Any amount of drugs or alcohol impairs the ability to drive. Up to 20,000 people die in alcohol-related crashes every year. It is important to avoid driving under the influence by always choosing a designated driver before you go out.
- Fatigued driving: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 100,000 reported crashes are due to driver fatigue every year. These result in over 1,500 deaths and about 71,000 injuries. The groups most at risk for fatigued or drowsy driving include adults between the ages of 18 and 29, adults with children in the household, men, shift workers, individuals who are sleep deprived, and those with sleep disorders.
- Adverse weather conditions: If you must go out in bad Michigan weather conditions, take proper safety precautions to reduce your risk of an accident. Drive slowly, leave plenty of room between your car and the car ahead of you, and always wear your seat belt. Make sure your car is prepared. Check tread and inflation of tires before leaving your driveway. Stock your vehicle with flashlights, blankets, bottles of water, extra clothes, and flares in case you have an accident or get stranded. Make sure windshield wipers are working and wiper fluid is full.
Common Injuries from a Michigan Vehicle Accident
Car accidents can cause many different injuries, to virtually any part of the body, depending on the circumstances of the crash and the severity of the impact including:
- Brain and Head Injuries
One of the most common and debilitating injuries suffered by drivers and passengers is an acquired brain injury caused by the head being hit or hitting an object violently called a traumatic brain injury. Symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe, depending on the extent of damage to the brain and the area affected. Even when there is no visible sign of trauma (i.e. cuts or bruises), the brain may have been jostled inside the skull due to the force of impact causing bruising, bleeding and swelling of the brain.
- Neck Injuries
Another common form of injury from a car accident is neck injuries, which can occur in more mild forms such as whiplash and neck strain, to more serious injuries like cervical dislocation and disc injury.
- Back Injuries
The lower back is the most common site of back injuries, including sprains and strains, herniated discs and fractured vertebrae. These injuries can cause pain and limit mobility Sometimes the symptoms of even the most serious back injuries can take some time to show up after an accident. Unfortunately, back injury can cause long lasting pain and discomfort.
Contact a Michigan Auto Accident Attorney
When you are involved in a vehicle collision, an experienced auto accident attorney can assist you at every step of the process from contacting the insurance company to filing a lawsuit on your behalf if it becomes necessary. Call Michigan Injury Lawyers at 313-GET-HELP for a free consultation today.