Insurance Companies Must Cover ER Trips Involving Traffic Accidents
Danger on the Road – Traffic Accident Statistics
With nearly 264 million vehicles registered and over 218 million individuals with a valid driving license, our roads are some of the busiest in the world. This, unfortunately, means traffic accidents are more common than any of us would like.
Annual Car Accidents in The United States
Every year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issues a briefing based on reported car accidents nationwide. The NHTSA keeps track of injuries, fatalities as well as the factors that might have contributed to the crash such as speeding, alcohol, and distractions.
From these reports we can gather the following statistics:
- There are more than 6 million reported car crashes a year in the United States
- An estimated 38,680 people lost their lives in motor vehicle-related accidents in 2020
- 20,160 people have died during the first half of 2021 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The Impact of Motor Vehicle Accidents in Texas
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the state of Texas has the most traffic fatalities of any state in the country.
- In 2020 there were 12,107 serious injury crashes reported
- 3,897 people lost their lives due to a car crash-related incident in 2020
- Source: Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Facts Calendar Year 2020
Most Common Causes of Traffic Accidents
Distracted driving is the leading cause of road accidents in America. Drivers can become distracted by several things while driving:
- Cell phones
- Drinking from a mug or bottle
- Pets in the car
Not paying attention to the road while driving can have dire consequences; the NHTSA reports 3,142 fatalities in distraction-affection crashes in 2019. There were also an estimated 697 deaths due to drowsy driving during the same year. Source: NHTSA.
In addition to these tragic deaths, thousands of victims who experience long-term disabilities.
The second most common cause of road accidents in the United States is speeding, and because most of these accidents typically occur at high speeds, it is also a significant cause of traffic accident-related deaths with an estimated 9,478 deaths in 2019. Source: nsc.org
Road accidents involving drunk drivers are another major cause of injuries and fatalities, especially during the weekend and holidays. Drinking slows down our response time and our ability to focus on the road, and it can also make us drowsy.
According to data from the NHTSA,
“29% of the total fatalities of road accidents were in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.”
In our own state of Texas:
Out of the 3,722 road accident deaths in 2017, 1,468 or 39% of them occurred in an accident caused by a drunk driver.
Getting Prompt Medical Attention Can Help Save A Life
According to the CDC for every person killed in a road accident,
“8 were hospitalized, and 100 were treated and released from the Emergency Room.”
Anyone who is involved in a severe motor vehicle accident should be taken to the nearest Emergency Room for evaluation, given that some injuries can only be diagnosed with advanced imagining technology.
During a crash, victims might have suffered internal injuries or head trauma that if not treated promptly can lead to long-term disabilities or even death.
Some injuries are more time-sensitive than others, in these cases it is better to transfer the patient to a Free-Standing ER facility such as any of the Altus Emergency Centers where they can be treated by a licensed emergency physician right away, rather than transport them to a Hospital ER where their treatment might be delayed due to overcrowding issues.
It’s important to remember that insurance companies are obligated to offer emergency room coverage in their policies. If you are involved in a car accident and need to go to the emergency room, your insurance policy will cover your visit.