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A Beginners Guide to Car Accident Statistics

Since the time Mary Ward of Ireland fell from her cousin’s steam car in 1869 and became known as the first fatality resulting from a road traffic accident, records have been kept of the resulting injuries and property damage caused by motor vehicle collisions. From these early records to the present day, methods of recording and analyzing statistics have become a sophisticated tool in the prevention of deaths and serious injuries on the roads, especially in developing counties where more regulation of drivers and vehicles are needed. Using collected data about car accident statistics, Japan, for example, reduced road fatalities by a 25% between the years of 1970 and 2008, and is currently installing advanced traffic flow monitors to further reduce road deaths.

How Statistics Affect an Insurance Quote

Car accident statistics are collected each year and used by insurance companies to help determine how much to charge each individual for his or her car insurance premium.(The other factors that make up a single insurance quote are age, experience and health of the driver, make, model and year of car and driving history.) Based on past data, it is possible to predict which makes and models of vehicles are most likely to be involved in car traffic accidents. Some conclusions drawn are not as obvious as they may seem, for example, SUV statistics show many more accidents than would be expected for their group, and certain models of sports cars typically incur less insurance claims than less racy vehicles. When shopping for a car or insurance quote, it is possible to view the latest model’s safety statistics by researching online reviews, to decide which models appear to be the safest to drive as well as finding those with the overall lowest car insurance costs.

Men Who Made History

Statistics for car accidents have even been expressed in a mathematical equation, in an attempt to reduce road related fatalities. R. J. Smeed, the deputy Director of the U.K. Road Research Laboratory, came up with a rather grim view of how a typical motorist thought. He proved that until public intolerance of the number of deaths resulting from road traffic accidents became critical, drivers would take advantage of any new safety features installed in cars to drive faster and more recklessly. During his years in charge of traffic and road safety departments, this theory helped to secure the first legislation to limit the speed a motor vehicle could travel on his country’s roads. John Adams, his friend and sympathizer, traveled to 62 developed countries, applying Smeed’s theory successfully in each one.

What the Statistics Mean and How to Avoid Adding to Them

World-wide deaths and serious injuries from road traffic accidents are estimated at 40 million incidents a year, which means driving a car is more dangerous than flying and almost every other form of transport. In The U.S. alone, over 3 million individual accidents each year change forever the lives of those involved. The cost of damage to property and personal injury claims is over 200 billion dollars. Leading causes of accidents are impaired drivers and traveling at a speed that is too fast for road conditions. For the majority of the population, good driving habits are learned rather than instinctive. No matter how skilled a driver may be, extra education pays in reduced insurance premiums and a feeling of satisfaction from knowing how to respond in difficult driving conditions. Local authorities often open up skid pans and other vehicle testing areas to the public at certain times of the year. To learn how to properly control a vehicle under extreme conditions gives even older drivers an interesting and educational experience. Younger drivers can benefit from the safety courses local malls and schools conduct. These courses often give out certificates that may be used when approaching insurance companies for a quote.

Driving in the Future

The fondness many Americans feel for the glory days of Detroit and long convertibles, with almost obscene fuel consumption figures, reflects the love affair all cultures share for the invention that first shrank distances and popularized personal travel at speeds faster than 5 miles per hour. As the motor industry moves further away from the days of producing the so-called, “Gas Guzzlers” and into vehicles that are environmentally friendly, a compromise is sought to keep the balance between preserving the experience of the joy of an open car and an empty road and keeping exhaust emissions at an acceptable level. As inner-city areas experience more traffic congestion, Smeed’s observations concerning reductions in drivers and accidents when speeds are limited may well be proved once more. Car sharing and good public transportation in cities, such as San Francisco’s Bay Area, show how future trends will cut down on the rush hour grid lock traffic jams. All of these developments help to reduce car accident statistics, mostly by limiting the speeds of vehicles and reducing the numbers of cars on the road. Understanding the statistics can help you to decide which insurance you want or need. It can help in the purchase of a vehicle based on statistics which will lower your car insurance.

Insurance is of Vital Importance

In the face of a current upturn in car accident statistics, a review and updating of any car insurance policies held should be carried out on a regular basis. New information about some repairs, improvements and health conditions all require a policy holder to contact his insurers to make sure the coverage is valid. One of the most convenient ways to find and compare insurance quotes is by using online insurance brokers who have sophisticated search techniques on thousands of insurance data bases to find the best deals. The first question usually asked by online vendors of insurance policies is the postal area code, necessary because laws concerning insurance are slightly different in each state. Quotes take from a few seconds to several minutes, and if several sites are used to compare prices, be sure to ask how long the offer will be open, in case any limited time offers are involved. is a good example of one such site. It is very user friendly and will give you all the information you need when searching for car insurance quotes. Simply type in your information and all your car insurance options will be laid out in front of you. This is the easiest way to shop for insurance of any kind, not just automobile insurance, and has become very popular in recent years because it can be arranged from the home or office. No more shuffling through hundreds of papers to compare car insurance. It is now all at your finger tips.


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