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Accidents #4 on list of causes of death for Americans

Annually, accidents cause 130,557 fatalities in the United States and are the fourth most likely cause of death overall. However, for individuals from birth to 44, accidents top the list of fatal events.

Accidents are considered to be unintentional injuries, and almost twice as many males die each year in accidents as their female counterparts, with a ratio of 81,916 to 48,641.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, collisions on highways cause roughly $871 billion each year in social harm and economic losses. Driving too fast is estimated to be responsible for $210 billion alone.

Some accidents may be unavoidable, but there are ways to reduce one's risk of harm or even death. Remembering to always buckle up in vehicles is key, as it's estimated that wearing seat belts saved more than a quarter million lives over a 23-year period.

Another preventive measure is avoiding impaired driving. In a single year, 10,228 individuals died in collisions involving alcohol-impaired drivers. In 2010, this number accounted for 31 percent of all collision-related fatalities in the USA. In the same year, almost 1.5 million drivers were charged with driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol.

Even when drivers and passengers do everything to ensure their own safety on the roads, they are still at the mercy of other drivers who may not be acting as responsibly. When the inevitable accidents do occur, it is reasonable to hold the at-fault drivers liable for injuries and wrongful deaths of loved ones.

While no sum of money can erase the pain of a beloved family member's death, a financial judgment or settlement can ease some aspects of the survivors' lives as they cope with their loss.

Source: Medical News Today, "4: Accidents (unintentional injuries)," Hannah Nichols, accessed Dec. 18, 2015

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