According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are approximately six million car crashes in the United States on an annual basis. But how many of those accidents happen in Alabama? And what causes the collisions that occur in the Yellowhammer State each year?
For the answers to these questions and many more, one must look at the car accident statistics published by the Alabama Department of Transportation:
How Many Car Accidents Occur in Alabama Each Year?
In 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, there were 159,925 car crashes on streets and highways throughout Alabama. This figure means that, on average, a traffic accident occurred every 3 minutes and 17 seconds.
The accident total for 2018 is an increase of 1.87 percent over 2017, which saw 156,989 collisions.
How Many People Are Injured in Car Crashes in Alabama Each Year?
Of the drivers and passengers who were involved in Alabama’s 159,925 car accidents in 2018, 47,419 of them sustained injuries. This figure translates to one injury every 11 minutes and 5 seconds.
The total number of injured people in 2018 is slightly lower than it was in 2017. In that year, 47,773 people sustained injuries in car accidents in the Yellowhammer State.
How Many People Are Killed in Car Crashes in Alabama Each Year?
According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, there were 872 fatal accidents throughout the state in 2018. Those fatal crashes resulted in 953 deaths.
39 of the 953 traffic deaths in Alabama in 2018 involved distracted driving. Common examples of distracted driving include:
- Talking on the phone while driving
- Texting and driving
- Eating food while driving
- Applying makeup while driving
In comparison, 948 people were killed in 857 fatal accidents in 2017.
When Do Alabama Car Accidents Typically Happen?
In theory, a motor vehicle crash can happen on any day, at any time. In reality, however, car accidents in Alabama are spread throughout the week in the following manner:
- Sunday: 9.7 percent of crashes and 14.0 percent of fatalities
- Monday: 14.5 percent of crashes and 14.2 percent of fatalities
- Tuesday: 14.7 percent of crashes and 13.2 percent of fatalities
- Wednesday: 14.9 percent of crashes and 11.5 percent of fatalities
- Thursday: 15.8 percent of crashes and 14.5 percent of fatalities
- Friday: 17.9 percent of crashes and 16.0 percent of fatalities
- Saturday: 12.5 percent of crashes and 16.6 percent of fatalities
Statistics also show that certain times of day are more prone to accidents than others. Approximately 33.5 percent of all crashes and 22.4 percent of fatalities happen between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm.
Where Do Alabama Traffic Fatalities Happen Most Often?
The Alabama Department of Transportation has been tracking the locations of fatal accidents in the Yellowhammer State for ten years and has found that the majority of deaths occur in rural areas. The yearly fatal collision figures are as follows:
- 2009: 62.0 percent rural vs. 38.0 percent urban
- 2010: 59.6 percent rural vs. 40.4 percent urban
- 2011: 60.3 percent rural vs. 39.7 percent urban
- 2012: 56.9 percent rural vs. 43.1 percent urban
- 2013: 61.1 percent rural vs. 38.9 percent urban
- 2014: 62.1 percent rural vs. 37.9 percent urban
- 2015: 59.8 percent rural vs. 40.2 percent urban
- 2016: 60.6 percent rural vs. 39.4 percent urban
- 2017: 61.2 percent rural vs. 38.8 percent urban
- 2018: 60.3 percent rural vs. 39.7 percent urban
The data also shows more than 66 percent of all accidents (fatal and non-fatal) occur within 25 miles of the at-fault driver’s home.
Who Are the Victims of Alabama Car Crashes?
A review of the statistics shows that drivers aged 20 to 24 are quite a bit more likely to be involved in car accidents than people in all other age groups. Despite making up just 8.1 percent of licensed drivers in Alabama, this group accounts for 12.5 percent of all traffic collisions.
The data from the Alabama Department of Transportation also shows that there is a sizable gender gap when it comes to fatal traffic accidents in the Yellowhammer State. Approximately 71 percent of car crash deaths are men – despite females making up about 51.5 percent of all licensed drivers in the state.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Alabama?
The most common causes of the 159,925 car crashes that happened in Alabama in 2018 were:
- Failure to Yield: 14.9 percent
- Tailgating: 14.0 percent
- Misjudged Stopping Distance: 8.7 percent
- Improper Lane Change: 8.4 percent
- Unseen Person or Vehicle: 6.7 percent
- Speeding: 5.6 percent
- Swerving: 4.7 percent
- Failure to Heed Signs or Signals: 3.8 percent
- Drunk Driving: 2.6 percent
- Run-Offs: 2.3 percent
- Fatigued Driving: 1.7 percent
Speeding, drunk driving, and run-offs were the leading causes of fatal accidents in 2018.
What Types of Vehicles Are Involved in Accidents in Alabama?
According to the data published by the Alabama Department of Transportation, the following types of vehicles were most frequently involved in collisions in the Yellowhammer State:
- Passenger Cars: 51.7 percent of crashes
- Pickups and SUVs: 39.0 percent of crashes
- Vans: 3.7 percent of crashes
- Trucks: 3.7 percent of crashes
- Motorcycles: 0.6 percent of crashes
- Other: 1.3 percent of crashes
The “Other” category in this data is mainly comprised of crashes involving bicycles and scooters.
How Does Alabama’s Traffic Safety Record Compare to That of Other States?
When it comes to the health and safety of its road users, the state of Alabama does not compare favorably to the rest of the nation. This fact is most clearly evidenced in the following statistics published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):
- Alabama has the 3rd highest rate of traffic fatalities per capita in the United States – behind only Mississippi and South Carolina
- Alabama has the 14th highest rate of traffic fatalities per mile traveled in the United States
The Motor Vehicle Accident Mortality Report published by the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Rural Health Association also shows that the Yellowhammer State’s traffic mortality rate is around 73.2 percent higher than the national average.
What to Do if You Are Involved in a Car Accident in Mobile, AL
Given that Alabama is such a hotbed for car crashes, you may be wondering what you should do if you are struck by a young driver who was texting and had their eyes off the road. Well, even though every accident is different, following these simple steps should help to protect your health and your financial future:
Seek Medical Attention
In the immediate aftermath of your collision with a teen driver, your health should always be your first priority. If you are injured and in need of immediate medical attention, call an ambulance as soon as you can. If you are unable to do so, have a bystander call on your behalf.
Even if you do not need to rush to the emergency department right after your crash, you should make a point of visiting your doctor as soon as possible. Doing so will ensure that any hidden injuries you may not have noticed can be diagnosed and treated.
Contact the Police
Once you have addressed your medical needs, your next phone call should be to the police. When they arrive on the scene, they will put together a detailed report about the accident that you may be able to use as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit.
As part of their investigation, the police may ask you to provide a statement. When doing so, you should try to stick as closely to the facts as possible.
When you have finished interacting with law enforcement officers, you should then take some time to gather evidence from the scene. Generally speaking, this means taking plenty of pictures and videos as well as obtaining the contact information of any witnesses.
Hire an Experienced Attorney
As soon as you have concluded the evidence-gathering process, you would be wise to reach out to a knowledgeable car accident lawyer – like those here at Lattof & Lattof, PC, in Mobile. Your attorney will help to protect your interests by:
Communicating with Insurance Companies on Your Behalf
After an accident, the last thing you want to do is spend hours on the phone with insurance adjusters. Fortunately, when you hire a lawyer, you won’t have to. They will communicate on your behalf.
Providing You with Helpful Legal Guidance
If you have never been in an accident before, you may not know what steps you need to take to file suit and recover compensation. Your attorney will be able to provide you with this essential information.
Preparing Your Case for Trial
If your suit is particularly complex, you may need to go to court to recover the compensation you deserve. When you work with a skilled lawyer, they will prepare your claim for trial – just in case.
Need More Information About Car Accident Statistics in Mobile? Contact Our Law Firm Today
Having spent years in the legal field, the attorneys here at Lattof & Lattof, PC, in Mobile, are acutely aware of Alabama’s shocking car accident statistics. If you have been involved in a crash, or would just like to learn more about the dangers of driving in our state, please do not hesitate to give us a call or contact us online.