According to statistics compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the risk of people dying in a car accident in Pennsylvania and nationwide has declined by more than a third over the last three years. However, car-related fatalities remain a significant problem in the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 33,804 people died in motor vehicle traffic accidents across the country in 2013, for a fatality rate of 10.7 people per 100,000. Overall, just under 2.6 million people died in the U.S. that year. That means the average American's risk of dying in car crash was about one in 77. In comparison, falls kill one in 83 people, firearms kill one in 77, suicides kill one in 63 and poisoning claims one in 53. However, disease kills far more people annually. For instance, one in four people succumb to heart disease, one in 34 dies from diabetes and one in 46 dies from influenza and pneumonia. Meanwhile, one in 161 people are murdered each year.
Of the 33,804 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2013, 8,629 were occupants of cars, 4,989 were pedestrians, 4,169 were motorcyclists and 623 were bicyclists. The top five states where Americans are most likely to die in a motor vehicle crash are Montana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Alabama and Arkansas. The District of Columbia, Massachusetts and New Jersey have the lowest motor-vehicle death rates.
Car accidents cause thousands of catastrophic injuries each year. Pennsylvania residents who are injured in a car crash caused by the negligence of another motorist may want to meet with an attorney to discuss the advisability of filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party seeking financial damages for the losses that have been sustained.