The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released data from 2019 (the most recent year available) in March 2021 for car accident fatalities. The IIHS mined data from the United States Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
The data for 2019 shows an alarming number of fatal traffic accidents that occurred in Oklahoma. There were 580 total car accidents that led to fatalities and 640 people died in those accidents. The state’s population in 2019 was 3,956,971. The 640 deaths average out to be 16.2 deaths per 100,000 people. Oklahomans drove 44,648 million vehicle miles in 2019. The 640 deaths average out to 1.43 deaths per million vehicle miles driven for 2019.
Driving has always been dangerous. Nowadays it has become one of the riskiest activities to do anywhere in the United States. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), dying in a car accident (1 in 107) is more likely than:
- Dying from fire or smoke (1 in 1,547)
- Dying from choking on food (1 in 2,535)
- Dying in a bicycle accident (1 in 3,825)
- Dying from an accidental gun discharge (1 in 8,571)
- Dying from a cataclysmic storm (1 in 58,669)
- Dying from a dog attack (1 in 86,781)
So, is it possible to increase your chances of surviving a car accident in Oklahoma? There are steps you can take to improving your chances of survival each time you are in a motor vehicle, even if you aren’t the driver.
Increasing your chances of surviving before a car accident
The best way to increase your chances of surviving a car accident is by not being involved in an accident in the first place. However, this is not always possible. There are some situations that just cannot be avoided when it comes to being involved in an accident. Even the safest of drivers could wind up in an accident for many different reasons.
There are four things you can take into your own hands to improve your chances of survival before an accident:
- Always wear a seat belt, even if you are just moving your vehicle from the driveway to the street. You never know if a vehicle will come barreling down the street as you back out of your driveway.
- Invest in a first aid kit and an auto safety tool. An auto safety tool can help you cut your seat belt and break the glass windows in the event that your vehicle rolls in an accident and you are trapped. This tool could one day save your life, the life of your passenger, or the life of someone else in another vehicle.
- Drive the safest vehicle your budget can afford. When you are looking for a new car you should always look at the safety features first. Above all else, safety should be your top priority.
- Store anything that could turn into a projectile in a crash. All loose, dangerous items that could turn into a projectile during an accident should be properly stored underneath seats, in a bag, or in the trunk.
Actions to increase survival chances during an accident
There are quite a few steps you can take to increase your chances at survival if you ever find yourself in a car accident:
- If you see an accident in front of you or are hit, you need to respond quickly but avoid making any sudden movements with your vehicle. Sudden movements could cause your vehicle to flip or hit other vehicles.
- If your vehicle begins to skid on ice, turn into the skid. Do not apply the brakes unless you absolutely have to do so. Do not jerk the steering wheel either.
- Put trust in the anti-lock brake system. This system will pump the vehicle’s brakes faster than a human. If you need to stop quickly, put as much pressure on the brakes as possible and let the ABS system do its job. You will feel the brake vibrate, which means it is working. Hold the steering wheel so that the wheels are straight.
- Try to hit an object that will do the least damage. This might sound frightening but if there’s no possible way to avoid hitting something, try to aim your vehicle for the object that will cause the least amount of damage to your vehicle. This, in turn, should increase your chances of surviving the accident.
- Remain upright. Driving in an upright position at all times is the best way to improve your chances of survival in an accident. Slumping, ducking, or leaning can cause you to suffer serious injuries when in an accident when the airbag deploys.
Surviving the aftermath of an accident
Increasing your chances of surviving a car accident also includes the actions you take in the immediate aftermath of the crash. Vehicle fires, rubbernecking, and unknown injuries all pose dangers to victims of car accidents.
- Call 911 immediately. You will want Tulsa police, fire, and EMS to respond so a report can be started and you can be evaluated for injuries or transported to the hospital.
- Only exit your vehicle if the scene is safe. If you are on a busy highway it might be best to remain in your vehicle. If the vehicle can be safely moved to the shoulder or a nearby parking lot, do so.
- Reduce the risk of fire by turning off the engine of your vehicle. Make sure you do not smoke and neither do your passengers.
- Exit your vehicle if it landed in a body of water or if there is a fire no matter where the vehicle is located.
Were you or a loved one injured in a Tulsa car accident? If so, Biby Law Firm can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Paying for your own medical bills when you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence isn’t fair. Let our compassionate, experienced, and tough team fight for your rights. Call our Tulsa office at 918-574-8458, or complete a contact form on our website to schedule a consultation today.
Jacob Biby has spent his legal career helping folks just like you get the resources they need after an injury. He completed his undergraduate degree at Oklahoma State University and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa in 2008. Jacob is licensed to practice in all Oklahoma state and federal courts, and has limited his career to representing individuals and families who were injured by the negligence of other people or corporations. Learn more about Jacob Biby.