When an automobile traveling on any type of road strikes another object, a traffic collision has occurred. Whether the vehicle strikes another vehicle, a building, a sign, a guard rail, a human, an animal, or any other object of mass that can cause damage upon impact, it will qualify as a traffic collision. Depending on the severity of these automotive accidents, they can lead to physical injury, property damage, vehicle damage, and death, involving both drivers and passengers.

Commonly referred to as automobile accidents, car accidents, crashes, wrecks, and fender benders, traffic collisions are also technically referred to as motor vehicle accidents, personal injury collisions, road traffic collisions, and road traffic incidents. Traffic collisions can be accidental or, in some extreme cases, intentional, however they are mostly recognized as one of the leading preventable causes of death in the United States.

Victims of traffic collisions can suffer from abrasions, bruising, burns, concussions, crush injuries, dislocations, fractures, and lacerations. One of the most common types of injuries suffered in traffic collisions is whiplash. This specific injury can lead to a lifetime of pain and complication, regardless of the severity of the injury. Whiplash can happen as a result of traffic collisions of less than 10 miles per hour, and can still require a lifetime of regular medical treatment. Keep yourself covered with life insurance in case the unthinkable happens.


Traffic related death rate: the U.S. ranks in the Top 5 of the 30 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development with nearly 15 road-related fatalities per 100,000 people.

As of 2004, the World Health Organization estimated that automobile collisions were annually responsible for 1.2 million fatalities worldwide, and more than four times that amount in injuries. Children ages 9-18 account for more than 250,000 the world’s traffic fatalities each year, nearly more than drowning and burns combined.

Motor vehicle collisions are one of the most preventable leading causes of death in the U.S. each year, behind smoking, alcohol, and toxins, and ahead of guns and drug use. Nearly 40,000 Americans die in preventable automobile collisions each year, amounting to 1.8 percent of all preventable deaths. While this fatality rate has shown gradual and consistent decline each year over the past two decades, automobile collisions were responsible for 37,261 fatalities in 2008 and 41,059 deaths in 2007. While that decline indeed shows promise, an additional 2,491,000 people were injured in automobile accidents in 2007, and that total was down to 2,346,000 in 2007, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Among people ages 25-55, automobile accidents are the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. each year. Americans ages 25-35 have the highest annual accidental casualty rate with more than 10,000 vehicular fatalities each year. Motor vehicle collisions are responsible for more than 70 percent of accidental deaths in the U.S. each year.  Some of these accidental deaths are occur with car rentals, so be sure to always get insurance on any car rental.

In 2007, there were 6,024,000 total automobile crashes, including injury and property-damage-only crashes. In 2008, that number decreased to 5,811,000, with declines in both injury and property-damage-only crashes. 


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