Several organizations in Alabama collect and keep track of car accident data in the state. The purpose of data collection is to understand when, why, where, and how car accidents happen. Organizations such as the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) hope that analyzing crash data will ultimately improve the safety of the state’s transportation system. Looking at this data as a driver can help you avoid common risk factors and causes of serious motor vehicle accidents in Alabama.
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The Latest Data On Alabama Car Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death in America. Unintentional injuries are the third-leading cause of death, and car accidents are the most prevalent cause of unintentional injuries. In the teenage population, car accidents are the number one cause of death. The ALDOT hopes to reduce car accident death and injury rates in Alabama, partly through the data reporting system at the University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety (CAPS). Here is the most recent available data for 2016.
- There were 155,907 total car accidents in Alabama, a 5.73% increase from 2015.
- The number of personal injuries increased by 8.25%, to 47,653 reported injuries.
- Nine hundred ninety-four car accidents were fatal (a 25.98% increase from 2015).
- A total of 1,089 people died in fatal car accidents in Alabama.
- Almost 60% of Alabama victims who died in car accidents were not wearing seatbelts.
- The probability of dying in a vehicle crash is 57 times higher for front-seat occupants who do not wear their seatbelts.
- Speeding was the leading cause of fatal car accidents.
- The majority (78%) of accidents occurred in urban areas, but the majority of fatal accidents (60%) occurred in rural areas.
- Over half of all fatal accidents occurred at night, between dusk and dawn.
- One hundred fourteen deaths were victims riding motorcycles or mopeds.
- Drivers in Alabama have a greater than one in three chance of getting into a serious accident in their lifetimes.
- Over a 10-year span, the number of crashes in Alabama has increased by 15.23%. Injuries are up by 20.03%, but fatalities have dropped 1.89%.
Although the statistics for 2016 showed increases across most car accident areas, more recent numbers are more positive. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says 2018 had fewer car accident fatalities than in previous years. As of June 2018, the death toll was 42 less than 2017’s total at the same time. One trooper, Curtis Summerville, believes the decline is due to drivers finally obeying the laws – buckling their seatbelts, driving safely, and paying attention to the road.
What Causes Most Car Accidents In Alabama?
CAPS data does not only record the numbers of car accidents, injuries, and deaths in Alabama. More importantly, it tracks the primary causes of serious car accidents. This information can help drivers, ALDOT, and safety organizations take steps to prevent future auto accidents.
- In 71.8% of fatal crashes, the first harmful event was the vehicle striking another vehicle. In 11.2% of crashes, the first event was striking a fixed or other object.
- Speeding, driving under the influence, and failure to yield the right-of-way were the three top driver-contributing circumstances of fatal accidents.
- Failure to yield the right-of-way caused the most accidents (22,756), but speeding caused the most fatal accidents (153).
- Alabama police officers cited 5,989 total drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Other driver-related crash causes include running off the road, improper lane changes, wrong-way driving, drowsy driving, tailgating, and the driver losing control.
- The primary cause of trucking accidents in Alabama was improper lane change or use, accounting for 1,104 crashes.
- Most car accidents happened during the daytime in Alabama (72.36%).
- Two-lane roads recorded the highest number of accidents and fatal accidents, followed by four-lane roads.
Driver inexperience, breaking roadway rules, and driving aggressively can all increase the odds of a serious or fatal car accident. Do your part to increase the safety of Alabama’s roads. Drive safely, pay attention, and obey the law.