There’s a lot to love about the Mountain State: friendly people, rich history of self-reliance, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. However, the high rate of auto accidents should concern everyone living here. Statistically, West Virginia is one of the most dangerous states in the country in terms of traffic fatalities per miles traveled. Far too many innocent people are injured or killed every year by negligent drivers on West Virginia roads.
At Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, we want to get the word out about some of the most troubling West Virginia car accident statistics so the public better understands the danger they face and what they can do to reduce their risk of serious injury. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident someone else caused. We offer free consultations, so discussing your case with an experienced car accident lawyer in West Virginia won’t cost you anything.
West Virginia & USA Car Accident Statistics: Learn The Facts
In the U.S., motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death. Over 100 people die in some sort of collision every day. Hospital emergency departments treat millions of victims every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), medical costs and productivity losses cost the U.S. over $75 billion in 2017 alone.
How does West Virginia compare to the U.S.?
In 2018, there were 33,654 fatal accidents in the U.S., with 294 happening in West Virginia. Of the 294 people who tragically died, 38 died in a motorcycle-involved accident and commercial vehicles accounted for 52 of the deaths. Unfortunately, these numbers are higher than those recorded in 2017.
- Total fatal U.S. accidents: 33,244
- Total fatalities in West Virginia: 260
While the numbers are still high, we are seeing a downward trend in total loss of life for two years running.
West Virginia Auto Accident Statistics by County
In a recent five-year period, the West Virginia counties with the highest car accident death statistics per 100,000 people were:
- Pendleton (49.20)
- Lewis (43.90)
- McDowell (42.23)
- Braxton (41.27)
- Pocahontas (38.73)
- Lincoln (33.98)
- Boone (33.95)
- Wyoming (32.75)
- Ritchie (32.52)
- Jackson (31.55)
Most Common Car Accident Causes in West Virginia
Many different factors often contribute to a car accident in West Virginia. According to statistics, the causes of car accidents most likely to lead to injury or loss of life are:
- Drunk driving– According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one out of every three fatal automobile accidents involves a driver with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. While West Virginia has taken many steps to lower these numbers, drunk driving remains the number-one threat to vehicle occupants in the state.
- Speeding– Many crashes in West Virginia involve a vehicle that is speeding. Depending on the year, speeding is a factor in anywhere from 17 to 42 percent of fatal road accidents. The faster a car is traveling at the time of impact, the greater the force is to whatever it hits. This force means speeding tends to result in more severe injuries, some of which prove fatal.
- Distracted driving– While the manual use of cell phones has been banned statewide in West Virginia since 2012, distracted driving continues to injure and kill far too many people every year. Approximately five percent of all fatal car accidents involve a driver who is distracted. At the national level, more than 3,000 people are killed every year because of distracted drivers, per the CDC.
Rate of Auto Accident Fatalities in WV
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 267 people died in car accidents across West Virginia in one recent year. This gives our state a fatality rate of 1.66 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT). West Virginia’s rate was the eighth highest in the country that year, per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Car accidents caused 805 serious injuries in our state that same year, giving us a rate of 5.01 per 100 million VMT.
These car crash statistics illustrate how dangerous our roads can be and why it is important to hold negligent drivers accountable for the pain and suffering they cause.
Most Common Injuries Suffered in West Virginia Car Crashes
Statistics for car accident injuries show some of the most common in West Virginia include the following:
- Head injuries– Head injuries commonly result from the force of the crash itself or impact with the debris it causes. Their severity can range from relatively mild scrapes and bruises to severe and life-threatening injuries, such as concussions, skull fractures, and brain damage. All head injuries should be taken seriously. You should seek medical attention immediately if you get hit in the head in a car accident.
- Neck injuries– The bones of the neck are delicate and can easily be damaged in the impact of a crash. Common neck injuries from car accidents include whiplash, herniated discs, and spinal cord damage. If damage to the spine in the neck is particularly severe, the injury victim may become paralyzed.
- Chest injuries– While seat belts save lives, the force of impact in a car accident can be so intense the safety device cracks the chest. Sometimes, a severe rib fracture can puncture the lungs.
- Internal injuries– The blunt force trauma of a car crash can cause internal bleeding or injuries to organs. Because these injuries are not always immediately obvious, they can go undetected until they become life-threatening. This is why it is important to visit a medical professional as soon as possible after any accident.
Injured in a West Virginia Car Accident? Talk to Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys in Morgantown, WV Today
If you have been hurt in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you shouldn’t be left paying your medical bills out-of-pocket, struggling with lost wages due to missed time at work, or having to repair or replace your vehicle yourself. The experienced Morgantown car accident attorneys at Robinette Legal Group, PLLC want to help you demand that the driver responsible for the accident compensate you for these and other losses.
Our firm is committed to advocating on behalf of West Virginians who’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence. We understand how challenging life can be after a sudden accident and are ready to shoulder the burden on your behalf. We’re prepared to investigate the accident that hurt you, determine who is liable for your injuries, negotiate aggressively with the insurance company, and take your case to court if necessary.
Don’t wait another moment to put us to work on your behalf. Contact Robinette Legal Group, PLLC today for a free consultation with a West Virginia car accident lawyer.