Delaware boasts nearly 14,000 miles of roadway. Despite campaigns designed to improve highway safety, serious car accidents are still an all-too-common occurrence in the state. These accidents can leave victims severely injured, temporarily or permanently disabled, and unable to keep up with fast-accruing crash-related medical debt.
However, accident victims injured in crashes caused by the negligence of another person or entity may be entitled to compensation for a wide range of damages. These statistics can help you understand Delaware car accidents, including how to collect a financial recovery for injuries sustained in a crash that wasn't your fault.
Delaware Car Accident Fast Facts
- People report nearly 6 million car accidents to law enforcement each year in the United States; thousands of those crashes occur right here in Delaware.
- Approximately 100 people are killed in car accidents in Delaware each year, according to the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS).
- 131 people died in collisions on Delaware roads in 2015; that number dropped to 119 in 2016 and 118 in 2017.
- Delaware records 12.5 car accident-related deaths per every 100,000 people, and 1.7 deaths per every million vehicle miles traveled.
Common Causes of Delaware Car Accidents
Delaware car accidents can have any number of causes. However, factors that commonly cause or contribute to serious or fatal accidents include:
- Speeding (driving faster than the posted speed limit, or driving too fast for the current road or weather conditions)
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Aggressive or careless driving
- Poorly maintained roadways
Drunk Driving in Delaware
Public awareness campaigns warning Delawareans of the dangers of drinking and driving have blanketed the state's airwaves for years and, yet, driving under the influence of alcohol remains a serious problem in Delaware. Just how serious a problem? Well, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 2003-2012, a shocking 427 people were killed in Delaware crashes involving a drunk driver. That is not all: 2.7% of adult Delawareans surveyed admitted to having driven after having too much to drink within the past 30 days, compared to 1.9% of national respondents. Statistics also show that people killed in Delaware accidents where drunk driving was a factor are most likely to be male and age 35 and older.
In Delaware, law enforcement and other safety advocates are using a variety of techniques to combat drunk driving, including:
- Zero-tolerance drunk driving laws
- Sobriety checkpoints
- Ignition interlocks
- Mass media campaigns
- School-based anti-drunk driving programs
- License suspension and revocation
Distraction Is a Growing—and Deadly—Problem for Delaware Drivers
Distracted driving is a growing problem in the state of Delaware, with distraction-related accidents doubling between 2013 and 2017. In fact, in 2017 alone, law enforcement agencies in Delaware received reports of more than 6,000 accidents in which a distracted driver was a contributing factor. These crashes account for an astounding 23% of Delaware’s traffic accidents.
Common distracted driving behaviors can include:
- Talking, texting, or surfing the internet on a cell phone
- Operating an in-vehicle radio, navigational device, or entertainment system
- Eating or drinking
- Fixing hair, applying makeup, or other grooming behaviors
- Talking to passengers or disciplining children
- Zoning out
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that drivers in their 20s are more than twice as likely to be killed in a drunk driving accident than drivers of other ages. Fatal distracted driving-related crashes make up approximately 10 % of highway deaths, while the percentage of distraction-related vehicle deaths rises to 27% for drivers in their 20s.
Hurt in a DE Car Accident? Consult an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
After being injured in a car accident caused by someone else's negligence, it's important to understand both your legal rights and options for compensation. The skilled car accident attorneys with the Morris James Personal Injury Group can review your case and offer helpful advice. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a complimentary consultation.