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The probability of dying in a car accident

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that vehicle-related fatalities have fallen more than one-third in the past three years, which continues a decline that started in 1985 with improvements in structural and safety features. With people living longer than ever, some Louisiana residents might be curious as to how the death rate from car accidents compares to other causes of death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there were 33,804 traffic-accident deaths, amounting to a rate of 10.7 deaths per 100,000, in 2013. The total number of fatalities for the year was just short of 2.6 million, which means that the probability of individuals dying in car accidents is about one in 77. Of the causes of death that the CDC tracks, a car crash has one of the highest fatality rates.

Firearms are also a major cause of death with the same probability. However, the cause with the highest probability is heart disease, which kills one in four. Accidents in general cause one in 20 deaths, and diabetes, drugs and alcohol cause one in 34. Furthermore, statistics show that pneumonia and influenza kills one in 46, poison kills one in 53, suicide kills one in 63 and falls kill one in 83.

The likelihood of people dying in car accidents is also different between states. The 761 traffic-crash deaths in Louisiana mean that the death rate for the state is 16.5 per 100,000, which is the 10th highest in the country. By comparison, the highest rate is 23.3 in Montana, and the lowest is 4.6 in the District of Columbia.

The surviving family members who has been killed in a car crash caused by a negligent driver will often face severe financial consequences in addition to the shock of suddenly losing a loved one. They may wish to meet with an attorney to discuss the advisability of filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party seeking appropriate financial damages.

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