What Are The Chances Of Getting In A Car Crash?

Updated October, 2020
Get cheap insurance quotes, today!
Our team will help you find the lowest insurance prices.
Get Started →

Research shows that the average driver gets in a car crash about once every 17.9 years. Therefore, if you begin driving when you're 16, you should plan on being in at least 3 collisions over your lifetime. But safe driving and vigilance could drastically lower your odds.

Here are the 5 most common causes of car crashes

Not all car crashes are fender benders. Some of them are a lot more serious, resulting in totaled cars or severe injuries. It helps to know the most common causes of car accidents so that you can take steps to avoid them.

1. Distracted driving

Many people do other tasks while they drive. They may eat food, apply makeup, or text on their phone. All of these distract your mind from your most vital task: focusing on the road.

2. Impaired driving

About 30 percent of all driving deaths occur due to driving under the influence of alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are depressants that slow down your reflexes and affect your vision. This makes it more likely you end up causing a preventable crash. Marijuana and prescription medication can also alter your better judgment.

3. Speeding

Going just 10 miles over the speed limit increases your chances of causing a crash by 9.1 percent. If you're going way too fast, your ability to brake in time is drastically reduced. For safety reasons, you should always abide by the speed limit to avoid a crash, not to mention a speeding ticket.

4. Poor weather

Rain, ice, and snow all affect road conditions. When the road becomes slicker, you need a longer distance to come to a complete stop. But many people don't realize that. As a result, they think they have enough space between them and other drivers—leading to rear-end accidents.

5. Driver error

Driver error refers to improper braking, violating the right-of-way, or fatigue. It's harder to quantify, but issues with your health or vehicle increase your chances of being in a crash. If you feel tired, then it's prudent to not get behind the wheel. And you should take your car into the shop for routine maintenance to make sure everything still works as it needs to.

So, how likely is it that I'll be in a car crash?

Research from car insurance companies has found that the average driver is in a crash once every 17.9 years. For most people, that means they end up in a total of 3 crashes over a lifetime. But some people never end up in a crash while others get in a lot more than 3.

Some states have higher accident rates than others. The top 5 with the most car crashes include:

  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Rhode Island
  • New Hampshire

What do I do if I'm in a car accident?

Getting in a car accident, even a minor one, is nerve-wracking. Your mind may race at a mile a minute. But it's crucial to stay calm. You need to remember to follow a few simple steps to protect yourself.

  • Exchange auto insurance information with the other driver
  • Call 9-1-1, especially if someone has sustained an injury
  • Take pictures and talk to people nearby who witnessed the crash
  • Have the cops file a police report
  • See a doctor
  • Contact your insurance company

Safe driving is key—Use these tips when behind the wheel

While the average number of car crashes most people get into over a lifetime is 3, you could be in fewer if you practice safe driving. With a few simple steps, you greatly reduce your chances of being in a collision.

  • Follow the speed limit and obey any other signs on the road
  • Use your turn signals and turn on your headlights when visibility is impaired
  • Take your car into a shop for regular maintenance
  • Never driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Remain attentive and drive responsibly

Is my insurance good enough to protect me in an accident?

If you're not sure, consider comparing different insurance providers to your own to find out who's able to provide you with the level of protection you need. Don't get caught unprepared in a life-altering car accident.

Try our easy insurance comparing tool and receive quotes, instantly!

Get cheap insurance quotes, today!
Our team will help you find the lowest insurance prices.
Get Started →