Each year, a number of people in Pennsylvania are killed in motor vehicle accidents. While most people are saddened when they hear about fatal accidents on the news, they may be unaware of what the actual risk of dying in such an incident is.
A recent report by Cars.com culled data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to answer that question. While the IIHS has noted that fatal accidents have declined by a third in the last three years, the CDC data still indicates there is a significant problem.
According to the CDC, 33,804 people died in car accidents in 2013 for a rate of 10.7 per 100,000 people. This translates into a risk of dying in an auto accident at one in 77, a chance equal to that of dying by a firearm. When comparing the risk against risks of dying from other causes, car accident fatality risks appear to be competitive. People have a risk of dying in a fire of one in 821. Dying from alcohol or drugs poses a risk of one in 34, while dying of heart disease, the largest risk category, poses a chance of one out of four. The states where people were most likely to die in auto accidents were Montana, Mississippi and Oklahoma.
The surviving family members of a person who is killed in a traffic accident often face significant financial challenges, especially when the decedent was the breadwinner. In the event that the accident was caused by a negligent driver, the survivors may want to seek compensation for their losses through a wrongful death lawsuit filed with the assistance of an attorney against the at-fault motorist.