The odds of being killed in an auto accident are 1 in 109. The odds of being killed in a pedestrian accident are 1 in 561. These sobering statistics were released by a research organization to make everyone aware of what is killing people across the U.S.

Research shows that drivers and pedestrians should be even more concerned about their safety than usual.

A 100-year-old national safety organization did extensive research and created a ranking for current causes of death. When examined, the list reveals actions and circumstances that are common to the general public and ranks the odds of dying from certain causes. When it comes to road-related accidents in particular, the numbers are concerning. Read on to discover the specifics and how to protect yourself as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian.

Auto Accident-Related Deaths Rank High on List of Leading Causes of Death

In 2016, the National Safety Council (NSC) released the odds of dying in the United States. Health-related issues, such as heart disease and cancer, were one and two on the list, but vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and bike or motorcycle accidents were all ranked high. For instance:

  • The odds of being killed in a vehicle crash: 1 in 109
  • The odds of being in a fatal pedestrian accident: 1 in 561

The odds of dying do decrease if you ride a motorcycle or bike to:

  • 1 in 846 if you ride a motorcycle
  • 1 in 4,050 if you ride a bike

Car Accident Odds Not in Your Favor

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2015, six teenagers, ranging in age from 16-19, died every day due to injuries sustained in a motor vehicle crash. In addition, nearly 240,000 other teens were injured, some seriously. When it comes to all causes of deaths for teenagers, national health statistics show that a vehicle crash is the leading killer of teens, accounting for one-third of all teen deaths.

According to one state insurance association, in 2016, 49 teens were killed in crashes, up from 34 deaths the year before. Though not as bad as 2004 when 106 teens died in crashes, that gives little comfort to the families who have lost children at such a young age. Distracted driving remains the cause of many accidents, especially in the case of newer drivers. Whether it’s a young driver talking to someone else in the car or talking or texting on the phone, young drivers are too easily distracted when they should be concentrating on driving.

Regardless of age, individuals must do what they can to stay safe.

No matter what your status is on the road, driving a vehicle, riding in one, riding a bike or motorcycle, or just walking down the street, it’s up to you to stay safe. Here is a list of suggestions to ensure you and those around you avoid an accident:

  • Drivers must always buckle their seatbelts and refrain from anything that is distracting, including eating while driving or fumbling with the radio.
  • Bicyclists and motorcyclists must wear a helmet every time they are on the road.
  • Drivers operating non-standard vehicles, such as 18-wheelers and other licensed larger automobiles, should take advantage of safety courses and vehicle-specific licensing requirements.
  • Pedestrians need to remain aware of their surroundings at all times, putting away cell phones and other mobile devices.
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