There are thousands of vehicle crashes around the world every day and they cause various levels of destruction and injury. We have all seen the videos of enormous vehicles pile ups and huge eighteen wheeler trucks flipping over, but these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to vehicle crashes. From impacts at crazy high speeds to the luckiest close calls for pedestrians, some of the stories sound too wacky to believe.
Here are some little-known facts about vehicle crash stats around the world that will astound you.
1. The Biggest Multi-Vehicle Accident in the USA Involved Over 200 Vehicles
The biggest multi-vehicle accident in the US happened in 2002 in California where an incident involving 216 vehicles resulted in 41 injuries. Fortunately, while this was a huge accident, there were no reported deaths. The accident occurred when a semi-truck crashed into the center concrete divider of the Interstate which set in motion a chain reaction of crashes on both sides of the road. It is thought that the main factor which contributed to the extent of the devastation was the foggy conditions which affected the visibility of the drivers involved. After the accident, the local authorities shut down the entire two-mile length of road until the next day so that police and medical treatment could attend to all of the injured people, and so that the wreckage could be cleaned up.
2. Speeding is NOT the Main Cause of Vehicle Crashes
While many people think that speeding is the number one cause of vehicle accidents, it is actually distracted driving which causes the most crashes. There are various ways which you can be distracted while driving such as eating, doing your makeup, looking at your phone, or listening to music too loudly. As you can see from these car accident statistics, in 2016 there were almost 4,000 crashes in New Jersey alone which were caused by drivers using cellphones. While most other countries have total bans on drivers using cellphones, there is no US state which has a total ban on cellphone use. Despite this, if you have been involved in a crash due to another driver using their phone, you may be entitled to claim compensation from them to pay for your injuries and the cost of damage to your vehicle. Speak to an experienced accident attorney and find out what you are eligible for.
3. The Fastest Woman of All Time Died in a Vehicle Crash
Female racing car driver Jessi Combs was recognized for the fastest women’s land speed record after a 2019 attempt which saw her unfortunately killed in an accident. The Guinness World Records announced that they had tracked her speed before the crash and that she had broken the record by reaching a speed of 522.783 mph. Combs achieved this speed in a jet-powered car and broke the previous record of 510.71 mph which had been set by Kitty O’Neil in 1976.
The tragic accident occurred in the Alvord Desert in Oregon and while her Comb’s partner was left devastated, he said, “It was a goal that she really wanted – and as hard as it is for me to even look at the car without crying. I’m so proud of her. She woke up that morning to an alarm saying ‘let’s make history’ and we had an absolutely amazing day.” It was later found that the accident had occured as the front wheel assembly had failed during deceleration despite the driver doing everything perfectly.
4. Jessi Combs Wasn’t the Only TV Presenter to Have a High Speed Crash
During the filming of the popular Top Gear TV show, presenter Richard Hammond was injured in another accident involving a jet-powered car while travelling at 319 mph. His vehicle was the same dragster which had previously beaten the British land speed record and occurred as Hammond was doing his final run. According to diagnosis, the front-right tyre failed and one of the safety parachutes which deployed went onto the trackside grass causing the car to flip and start rolling. In a later interview Hammond discussed the brain injuries he had sustained and the other after effects of the crash. In the following years, he suffered from memory loss, depression and continuing emotional difficulties.
Vehicle crashes can be truly catastrophic and safety should be the absolute priority of every single road user. While the stories here are extreme, there are hundreds of thousands of accidents around the world every year, so it is up to us all to every possible measure to keep ourselves and others safe.