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6 key car accident statistics

You know how common car accidents are, but you still get on the road every day to drive to work. As a young professional, just 25 years old and starting your career, you don't usually worry about it. You've never been in a serious accident, and, even though you see the news reports every day, you don't think it will happen to you.

The reality, though, is that accidents don't discriminate. Safe driving can help you avoid them, but nothing can eliminate your risk entirely. Below are six key stats that you should know:

1. A full 10 percent of deadly accidents stem from distracted driving.

This statistic comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, while looking at the numbers for 2013. Distracted driving, which includes texting and driving, took 3,154 lives. A total of 424,000 people were hurt, meaning that distracted driving accounted for 18 percent of all accidents involving injuries.

2. More than a third of all drivers fall asleep while driving.

The AAA Traffic Safety Foundation did a study that claimed a full 37 percent of people have nodded off or fallen asleep while driving at least once. They claim that tired drivers are involved in 13 percent of serious injury accidents and 21 percent of deadly crashes. Even drivers who don't fall asleep could have slower reaction times when they are tired.

3. Over 10 million accidents aren't even reported.

It does stand to reason that many unreported accidents don't involve injuries, but it's still interesting to note that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes at least 10 million wrecks never get called in. This indicates that the odds of an accident could be far higher than stats suggest.

4. Just under a third of all accidents involve speeding.

Speed limits vary from road to road, but drivers always like to push those boundaries. In 29 percent of deadly crashes, speeding was a factor. That stat comes from 2013. It's higher for younger drivers. For instance, for men from 15 to 24 years old, about 35 percent of deadly accidents involved a speeding driver.

5. Alcohol is involved in about 31 percent of deadly accidents.

That stat also is from 2013, when 10,076 people lost their lives. It was trending down at the time, compared to 2012, but was still a significant factor -- and remains one today.

6. Almost 2,000 injuries happen after one driver runs a red light.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also said that over 900 people are killed annually in these accidents. Roughly 50 percent of those who are killed are pedestrians and those in the cars that are hit, while the other 50 percent are the drivers who run red lights.

As you can see by reading these statistics, many accidents take place in such a way that you can't do anything to prevent them. Another driver can be drunk or distracted, run a red light, and hit you on the way to or from work, even when you've made no mistakes. Regardless of age or your driving record, it's important to know about your legal rights to compensation if you're injured in a crash.

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