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The leading cause of death of people aged 2 to 33 years old is caused by auto accidents. In 2002, vehicle occupants accounted for 87 percent of traffic fatalities. The remaining 13 percent were pedestrians, pedalcyclists, and other non-occupants.
In 2002, 42,815 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes — an increase of 1.5 percent from 2001 (42,196). The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2002 was 1.51.
The injury rate per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2002 was 103. The fatality rate per 100,000 population was 14.85 in 2002, slightly higher than the 2001 rate of 14.79.
An average of 117 persons died each day in motor vehicle crashes in 2002, which amounts to one every 12 minutes!
Auto accidents can occur due to heavy traffic or be involved with commercial vehicles. Auto accidents causes related with commercial vehicles may include:
Many accidents are caused by a private vehicle driver neglecting to use caution and safety especially in work zones. Other accidents are caused by hesitating to brake, accelerating at unsafe distances, and making poor driving judgments with poor visibility.