Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that it has been growing steadily safer to drive on the road since 1985, when a decline in the number of traffic fatalities began and has continued ever since. However, in spite of the fact that people are less likely to die in a car crash than in the last two decades, individuals are still quite likely to end up in a fatal accident.
In 2013, the most recent year that complete data is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.6 million people died, and 33,804 of those deaths were caused by car crashes. That translated into a one in 77 chance that someone will die in a car crash, and these numbers included pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists who died due to a collision.
Fatal car accidents are one of the most common causes of death as tracked by the CDC, although these deaths are far less common than the one in four odds that someone will die of heart disease, the most frequent cause of death in the United States. People are less like to die of a fall, with odds of one in 83, or due to drowning, with odds of one in 163, than in an automobile accident.
Even if an injury from a car accident isn't fatal, the victim will still often face high medical bills and, in some cases, will be forced to miss work for an extended period of time, leading to an even worsened financial condition. In the event that the accident was caused by a distracted or otherwise negligent driver, a personal injury attorney might recommend the filing of a lawsuit against the motorist seeking compensation for the losses that have been incurred.