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Breaking down how accidents happen the majority of the time

Statistics can be incredibly helpful when looking at how car accidents take place. In some senses, these stats can help people take steps to avoid accidents. Many times, these statistics are cited when trying to determine how motor vehicle laws should be altered to make the roads safer.

For example, the use of alcohol is very common in deadly accidents. In 2013, it showed up in 72 percent of the deadly crashes across the country. Iowa, however, was actually well below that average, as alcohol was only found in 52 percent of the deadly accidents in the state—97 deadly crashes out of 187 total.

Other states, though, were far over the 72 percent total. West Virginia topped the list, with 95 percent, while Nevada came in with 94 percent, New Hampshire had 93 percent and Wisconsin had 92 percent.

Another stat that can prove helpful is the number of cars involved in accidents. Though most people think of multi-car accidents first, fatal single-car crashes are actually more common. There were 32,719 deaths in the U.S. in 2013, and 18,701 of them—57 percent—were in single-car accidents. The other 14,018 happened in multi-car accidents.

In Iowa, the state was again below the average. There were 317 total deaths in 2013, and 160 of them were in single-car accidents, while 157 were in multi-car accidents. That's very close to a 50/50 split.

Even when you know how accidents happen and what contributes to them, you can't avoid them all. Those who have been injured by other drivers should know how to seek financial compensation.

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute, "General Statistics," accessed Dec. 10, 2015

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