It’s rare to go a week without seeing some sort of accident on Alabama roads. From minor crashes that barely cause any property damage to pileups that shut down entire highways, Alabama sees its fair share of collisions every year.
In 2019, the Alabama Department of Transportation reported 159,102 total crashes. Though this number is high, it reflects a slight decrease in crashes from the previous year. Out of those crashes, there were over 46,000 injuries.
A total of 851 crashes were fatal, causing 930 deaths. Although these numbers are high, injuries and fatalities still decreased from 2018 despite an overall increase in registered vehicles, licensed drivers, and miles traveled.
Crashes are typically categorized by their defining event. This event plays a significant role in how much damage is caused and which types of injuries are reported.
Some of the most common types of crashes in Alabama include:
Other common collisions reported are overturned vehicles, bicyclist collisions, collisions with animals, and crashes with railway trains.
Over half of all crashes reported in Alabama involved passenger cars, and nearly 40% of collisions involved a pickup or SUV. Vans, trucks, and motorcycles fell far behind in this list.
Alabama tracks fatal accidents by locale, and they go even further to track which setting they occurred in. The majority of fatal crashes occurred in rural settings, with 551 fatal crashes happening in rural locations and 379 occurring in urban environments.
In rural settings, some of the most dangerous locales include open country roads and residential regions. This flips in urban areas, with most fatal crashes occurring on highways and in shopping and business districts. Residential collisions and open road crashes follow this.
While most collisions occurred on roadways, nearly 13% of all fatal crashes happened off roadways. Less than 2% occurred at intersections. In most fatal collisions, the causal driver lived within 25 miles of the crash scene.
Crashes are also broken down by county. Some of the counties with the highest fatal accident rates include:
There are many factors that contribute to severe car accidents. Weather, busy intersections, and popular holidays all cause danger to roadways.
Collisions tend to be spread out fairly evenly across the year, with slight decreases in January and February. This is expected in an area that does not typically experience winter weather.
The most common time of day for crashes is late afternoon and early evening, from about 2:00 P.M. to about 6:00 P.M. However, the few crashes that do take place late at night are far more likely to be fatal than daytime crashes are.
Crashes also tend to happen more on holidays when people travel interstate and often on minimal rest. Fatal collisions are most common on Thanksgiving and Christmas, although Memorial Day is also a somewhat difficult time to travel by car.
Crashes were more common in areas without traffic control, and over half of all fatal crashes occurred in these settings. However, a substantial number of collisions did still happen at intersections with traffic lights.
The overwhelming majority of crashes happened on dry roads, although nearly 17% did happen on wet roads. This aligns with the fact that almost 70% of crashes occurred on clear days. Statistics like these push back against the idea that most crashes happen because of bad weather conditions.
Knowing what puts you at risk of an accident can help you make safer driving choices. If you are involved in an accident, it’s essential to connect with a personal injury attorney and discover your legal options.