Car accidents can happen to anyone, but some groups of people face a higher risk of injury than others. Understanding what makes people more vulnerable may shed some light on solutions.
Even if people pay attention and take every precaution to stay safe while driving, other motorists might not be as responsible. Everyone, and especially vulnerable groups, should learn to drive defensively to protect themselves against serious injury.
Age and socioeconomic status
Age plays a major role in determining driver vulnerability. Young, inexperienced drivers may feel invincible or not have the knowledge of how to handle road hazards. Older drivers might lack focus or face physical impairments associated with age. Each of these groups could sustain more serious injuries in a car accident.
Similarly, people of a lower socioeconomic status could also be at a higher risk of injury. According to the National Library of Medicine, people of a lower socioeconomic status often drive older vehicles. These vehicles may lack proper maintenance and sustain more wear and tear, which could impact structural integrity in a crash. Some people may not have the resources to purchase child restraints which could also increase the risk of injury.
Car accidents can have serious effects on victims, including TBIs, paralysis, PTSD and other severe injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that a staggering 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes during the year 2020.
People can lower their risk of injury when they avoid distractions. Drivers should adjust their vehicle settings prior to driving. People should properly maintain their vehicles. With education, experience and accountability, even the statistically most vulnerable people can lower their risk of injury in a car accident.