How auto crashes affect your insurance rates

auto crashesDid you know that the crash-worthiness and cost of vehicles can affect your insurance rates?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 33,561 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2012, up 3.3 percent from 32,479 in 2011. 2012 marked the first year-to-year increase in motor vehicle crash fatalities since 2005. Out of concern for public safety and to help reduce the cost of crashes, insurers support safe driving initiatives. In 1969 the insurance industry created the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an organization best known for its vehicle crashworthiness testing program. In the 1970s the industry began the campaign to get auto manufacturers to make air bags standard equipment in vehicles. It is a major supporter of anti-drunk driving and seatbelt usage campaigns. Drivers themselves have also contributed to the reduction in crash-related fatalities by demanding safer vehicles. Eighty-six percent of respondents in a February 2010 IIHS survey said that safety is a very important consideration when buying a new car. Only 2 percent said it is not important.

Here are some statistics recently released by U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

  • 2013: Motor vehicle crash fatalities for the first half of 2013 fell about 4.2 percent from a year ago. Crash fatalities have been steadily decreasing since a significant increase was recorded in the first quarter of 2012.
  • 2012: According to NHTSA, traffic fatalities rose 3.3 percent in 2012 to 33,561 from 32,479 in 2011. 2012 was the first year with a year-to-year increase in fatalities since 2005. Vehicle miles traveled in 2012 increased 0.3 percent, and the fatality rate per 100 million miles traveled is estimated to have increased to 1.14 fatalities, compared with 1.10 fatalities in 2011.
  • In 2011 drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 accounted for 10 percent of all drivers in fatal crashes and for 13 percent of all drivers in police-reported crashes. In 2011 drivers in this age group accounted for 5.9 percent of all licensed drivers.
  • 2012: an estimated 2,362,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes, up 6.5 percent from 2,217,000 in 2011. This is the first statistically significant increase since 1995, according to NHTSA.
  • Work-Related: In 2011 crashes involving vehicles on public roadways were the leading cause of work-related fatalities, accounting for 23 percent of all workplace fatalities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • By Age Group: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2011 people 65 and older made up 17 percent of all traffic fatalities. In 2010 (latest data available) there were 35 million older licensed drivers, up 21 percent from 2002. The total number of drivers rose 9 percent from 2002 to 2011.


Keep these statistics in mind the next time you see an increase in your insurance rate.  For great auto insurance rates give Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance a call.

Protecting YOU is our Job

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