After heart disease and cancer, unintentional injuries or accidents—which include motor vehicle crashes, falls, poisoning, etc.—ranks third place among the leading causes of death in the U.S. in 2017. A Data Brief from the National Center for Health Statistics, which ranked the causes according to the number of deaths, states that the age-adjusted death rate for unintentional injuries climbed 4.2% from 2016 to 2017.
Based on the most recent data (2017 as of this writing) from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), unintentional injury is the no. 1 cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44. And unintentional motor vehicle traffic injury is the no. 1 cause of death for ages 5 to 24.
Maryland Road Accident Statistics
In Maryland, car accidents are the fourth leading cause of death, again after heart disease, cancer, and stroke. A crash summary report from the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration states that in 2018, there were 117,750 crashes in the state; over 80,000 resulted in damage to property and more than 30,000 crashes resulted in injuries. There were 513 people who died in 486 fatal crashes, and almost 50,000 were injured.
6 Deadly Factors in Road Accidents
The Maryland Strategic Highway Safety Plan pinpointed six deadly factors that contribute to road accidents in the state. These are:
- Distracted drivers, who are not paying attention to the road because they are doing something else while driving.
- Drunk or impaired drivers, who are not in the right state of mind to drive due to the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Aggressive drivers, who refuse to follow rules and drive full speed ahead.
- Unprotected driving, where drivers and/or passengers do not secure themselves with seatbelts.
- Road construction, where intersections and highway construction zones are hazardous at the moment.
- Non-drivers, or pedestrians who are the most vulnerable to road accidents.
What to Do When Road Accidents Happen
No one wants to be involved in an accident, but these destructive road accidents could happen to anyone. Victims of road accidents can turn to the court to have the person liable pay for damages and compensation. You’ll have a better chance of winning the case if you know what to do after a road accident.
First, stop. Do not drive away from the scene, no matter how minor the road accident is.
Second, preserve the scene. Warn other drivers and/or bikers and pedestrians about the accident to prevent further damages and to avoid another accident on the road—therefore, mitigating possible casualties and risks.
Third, call the authorities. Notify your insurance company about the accident you’re involved in to get possible financial remedies on your injury or damaged property. Then call an ambulance if the accident caused real damage to you or to another person. Also, contact the police because you might need a police report to file a claim with your insurance company, or even just to claim your vehicle. You also need the police to investigate what happened.
Fourth, make an accurate record. Tell the police everything you know. Be honest and transparent; don’t speculate. Take pictures of the visible damages on the vehicles and on yourself. This documentation could be used as evidence for your insurance company. Also, gather contact information of the people involved and any witnesses. This will come handy to your lawyer in the future. Remember to always keep a copy of everything.
Fifth, seek medical attention. Whether or not you are sure if you suffered any injuries, it’s best to go to the nearest emergency room or doctor for possible treatment. Do this after the police have properly dismissed you.
Contact an Accident Lawyer Immediately
You should have your accident lawyer such as Nick Parr on speed dial, or contact one as soon as possible after the accident. An attorney provides the best chance at getting just compensation for any injuries or damages you may have suffered due to the road accident. They can inform you of your rights and give legal advice before you furnish the insurance company with a statement. Some accident lawyers or firms even answer the insurance companies and gather potential evidence on your behalf.