Sometimes it is helpful to review the statistics in order to drive home the reality of the hazards that motorists face every time they get behind the wheel. The most recent statistics from the Maryland Department of Transportation give some reason for optimism but also underscore just how many serious car accidents there are every year. If you have been injured in an accident, you may need to hire an experienced car accident attorney to help you get the compensation you need to rebuild your life.
Overall Crash Statistics
Let’s get started with the statistics concerning car accidents in general:
- There were 108,656 total crashes in 2021, a decrease from the 5-year average of 110,745.
- There were 28,084 crashes that resulted in injuries in 2021, a decrease from the 5-year average of 30,993.
- There were 524 fatal crashes in 2021, an increase over the 5-year average of 514.
It is important to note that injury crashes are considered to be those where the driver or occupant has suffered an incapacitating injury. An incapacitating injury is one where the injured person is unable to normally perform typical activities that they were capable of performing before the accident. On average, therefore, more than 30,000 people suffer serious injuries in car accidents on Maryland roads every year.
While the total number of crashes and injury crashes appears to be declining, the increase in fatal crashes is troubling. The number of fatal crashes was lower in 2017, 2018, and 2019, but interestingly, 2020 saw the most fatal crashes with 546 – a time when many states saw a decline due to the COVID pandemic. The good news is that the total number of crashes and injury crashes is at its lowest in the past five years, except for 2020.
Impaired Driving Statistics
Despite the efforts of legislators and law enforcement, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol continues to be an issue.
- There were 6,522 total crashes due to impaired driving in 2021, a slight decline from the 5-year average of 6,632.
- There were 1,898 accidents that resulted in injuries in 2021, a decline from the 5-year average of 2,003.
- There were 154 fatal crashes resulting from impaired driving, a slight increase over the 5-year average of 152.
Our takeaway from these statistics is that the number of accidents caused by driving while under the influence remains more or less the same. It is troubling to think that more than 6,000 accidents, many of which result in serious injuries and death, could so easily be avoided every year.
Speeding continues to be one of the leading factors contributing to car accidents. While there have been declines in speed-related accidents, the number of accidents remains surprisingly high:
- There were 7,947 total crashes in 2021 where speed was a factor, a significant decline from the 5-year average of 9,059.
- However, there were 87 fatal accidents, a slight increase over the 5-year average of 85.
- Speed was a factor in 2,226 injury crashes in 2021, a decline from the 5-year average of 2,684.
2017 and 202 saw the highest number of speed-related fatal accidents, while 2018 saw the most accidents that result in serious injury with 3,253.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving includes more than just cell phone use. Distracted driving is deemed to be a factor in any accident where the driver failed to give full time and attention to the road due to eating, drinking, adjusting climate controls, or any other activity that diverts the driver’s attention.
Tragically, distracted driving accounts for the highest number of accidents each year:
- There were 50,882 total accidents due to distracted driving in 2021, a significant decline from the 5-year average of 53,321.
- Distracted driving resulted in 14,442 serious injuries in 2021, another significant decline from the 5-year average of 16,42.
- There were 205 fatal accidents resulting from distracted driving in 2021, an unfortunate increase over the 5-year average of 195.
On a positive note, the number of accidents and injuries due to distracted driving saw significant declines. Let’s hope this trend continues.
Injured in a Car Accident? Contact The Law Offices of Thomas E. Pyles, P.A.
We have over 30 years of experience in helping people who have been injured in car accidents get the compensation they need. Let us help you rebuild your life – contact us today at 301-705-5006 to schedule a free consultation.