By the numbers: War versus car crashes

We recently read a news article that contained a statistic that we think will amaze most of our St. Louis Personal Injury Blog readers: more Americans have died in car crashes since 2000 than died in both World War I and World War II.

Unsurprisingly, the most common causes of those senseless deaths on U.S. streets and highways were speeding, driving drunk and distracted driving.

Here’s another jaw-dropping stat from the Washington Post article: the opioid epidemic killed nearly 100,000 Americans between the years 2006 and 2012, while people who drove at excess speeds or while drunk or distracted killed 190,455, or nearly twice as many.

Conventional wisdom in the auto industry says that 94 percent of all motor vehicle wrecks are due to human error, and the statistics certainly bear that out.

More than 624,000 people died on U.S. streets, roads and highways, a figure that is far ahead of the 535,000 American military personnel who perished in the World Wars. It should be noted that more than 30 million people were injured in those crashes and that more deaths and injuries are added every single day.

The numbers for the most common causes of those crashes breaks down this way:

  • Drunk driving: the almost 213,000 killed in fatal wrecks through 2017 were in crashes that involved drivers impaired by alcohol
  • Speeding: more than 197,000 people died in crashes in which speeding was the primary cause
  • Distracted driving: about 78,000 died in wrecks caused by distracted driving; and this risky behavior is on the rise

People who are injured due to another driver’s recklessness or carelessness can fight for justice with the help of a St. Louis attorney skilled in personal injury litigation.