Car Accident InfoGraphic

The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, or OHSO, was established in 1967 to reduce the number of car accidents in Oklahoma. OHSO puts together detailed yearly reports on the cause and frequency of accidents statewide, touching on points like types of human error, frequency of drunk driving, and which months have the highest number of crashes. In March of 2013, we published an infographic on Oklahoma car accidents in 2010 (pictured right above this text). With this update, our car accident lawyers will explore how the numbers changed in 2014.

2010 to 2014: Fewer Car Crashes, But More Fatalities

Let’s start with the basic information.

In 2010, OHSO documented:

  • 69,807 total crashes
  • 24,445 injury crashes (resulting in 3,679 incapacitating injuries)
  • 616 fatal crashes (resulting in 668 fatalities)

So did the numbers improve with time? The results were mixed. In 2014, OHSO reported:

  • 68,327 total crashes
  • 22,673 injury crashes (resulting in 3,042 incapacitating injuries)
  • 589 fatal crashes (resulting in 669 fatalities)

Some of this data is counterintuitive. For instance, there were 27 fewer fatal crashes in 2014, which would lead one to expect a similar reduction in fatalities. Yet on the contrary, the number of deaths remained nearly identical, and actually increased by one person. Injury crashes followed a more predictable pattern, declining in terms of both frequency and total persons who sustained incapacitating injuries.

On the whole, 2014 saw 1,480 fewer accidents than 2010. Averaged out across the year, that’s a reduction of approximately 123 accidents per month. While this is an encouraging step in the right direction, there’s still lots of work to be done.

Contributing Factors to Deaths and Injuries: Time, Weather, and Seat Belts

You might find “buckle up” campaigns annoying or cheesy, but they exist for good reason: seat belts really do help save lives. More than half of the drivers involved in Oklahoma’s 616 fatal accidents in 2010 weren’t using their seat belts – 55.7% – compared to 37.6% of people who were wearing them. (It was unknown whether seat belts were worn in the remaining 6.7% of fatal crashes).

Among fatal accidents in 2014, the driver used a seat belt or other safety equipment in 158 crashes. In 196 accidents, no seat belt was in use. Seat belt usage was unknown in 19 accidents. These numbers mean that, among the 373 total drivers who died in 2014, 52.5% were not wearing a seat belt.

Certain days of the week saw more accidents than others. Friday, which was statistically the most dangerous day, had nearly twice as many crashes as Sunday. Here’s how the numbers added up in 2010:

  • Friday – 12,633
  • Thursday – 10,799
  • Wednesday – 10,653
  • Tuesday – 10,351
  • Monday – 9,917
  • Saturday – 8,862
  • Sunday – 6,592

If you think that was just random luck of the draw, think again: the order stayed almost exactly the same in 2014. The only difference was that Thursday and Wednesday swapped places, as you can see below:

  • Friday – 11,793
  • Wednesday – 10,447
  • Thursday – 10,384
  • Tuesday – 10,191
  • Monday – 10,022
  • Saturday – 8,490
  • Sunday – 7,000

As you can see from the numbers, Fridays were a little safer in 2014, with 840 fewer accidents than in 2010. However, at the same time, Sunday became more dangerous, with 408 more accidents than in 2010.

In 2010, the most dangerous time of day was between 5:00 and 6:00 P.M., with a total of 6,295 accidents. This data, while tragic, is not particularly surprising, since that’s precisely the time of day most people are driving home from work. It also explains why the most dangerous time slot stood unchanged in 2014, though unfortunately the number of accidents did increase, rising by 118 accidents to 6,413.

You might expect December or November to be the most dangerous month for driving, due to the high number of crashes and collisions that occur during hectic holiday travel. But in 2010, the month with the highest number of accidents – albeit by a slim margin – was actually October, with 6,361 crashes. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the safest month to drive was January, with 4,710 accidents. In 2014, October remained the most hazardous month with 6,316 accidents. However, the least dangerous month in 2014 changed to February, with 5,265 crashes.

It’s common sense that poor weather conditions increase the risk of accidents. Yet in 2010, the highest number of accidents actually occurred in clear, sunny weather: 41,537 crashes total, followed by cloudy weather with 20,408 accidents. Blowing sand was the least common weather hazard, contributing to just seven crashes.

These weather factors remained unchanged in 2014, though the numbers did fluctuate. In 2014, a total of 42,480 crashes took place on clear days (943 more than in 2010), while 17,408 took place on cloudy days (exactly 3,000 fewer than in 2010). While blowing sand was once again the least likely weather variable to be involved in an accident, the number of blowing sand incidents more than doubled in frequency, climbing from seven to 17.

All told, it seems little changed from 2010 to 2014. Most of the patterns and rankings remained consistent, with only a few minor shifts.

As these statistics make all too clear, automotive accidents are common in Oklahoma. If you were hit by a car in Oklahoma City, you may be entitled to financial compensation to help with your medical bills, lost income, property damage, and other expenses. To set up a free, confidential case evaluation, call the personal injury attorneys of Hasbrook & Hasbrook at (405) 698-3040 today.