AUTO ACCIDENT LAW SUMMARY
Many different terms are commonly used to describe vehicle collisions. The World Health Organization use the term road traffic injury,while the U.S. Census Bureau uses the term motor vehicle accidents (MVA), and Transport Canada uses the term "motor vehicle traffic collision" (MVTC). Other common terms include auto accident, car accident, car crash, car smash, car wreck, motor vehicle collision(MVC), personal injury collision (PIC), road accident, road traffic accident (RTA), road traffic collision (RTC), road traffic incident (RTI),road traffic accident and later road traffic collision, as well as more unofficial terms including smash-up, pile-up, and fender bender.
Some organizations have begun to avoid the term "accident". Although auto collisions are rare in terms of the number of vehicles on the road and the distance they travel, addressing the contributing factors can reduce their likelihood. For example, proper signage can decrease driver error and thereby reduce crash frequency by a third or more. That is why these organizations prefer the term "collision" to "accident". In the UK the term "incident" is displacing "accident" in official and quasi-official use.
A traffic collision, also known as a motor vehicle collision (MVC), traffic accident, motor vehicle accident, car accident,automobile accident, road traffic collision, road traffic accident, wreck, car crash, or car smash occurs when a vehiclecollides with another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, road debris, or other stationary obstruction, such as a tree or utility pole. Traffic collisions may result in injury, death and property damage.
A number of factors contribute to the risk of collision, including vehicle design, speed of operation, road design, road environment, and driver skill, impairment due to alcohol or drugs, and behavior, notably speeding and street racing. Worldwide, motor vehiclecollisions lead to death and disability as well as financial costs to both society and the individuals involved.
Road injuries occurred in about 54 million people in 2013. This resulted in 1.4 million deaths in 2013, up from 1.1 million deaths in 1990. About 68,000 of these occurred in children less than five years old. Almost all high-income countries have decreasing death rates, while the majority of low-income countries have increasing death rates due to traffic collisions. Middle-income countries have the highest rate with 20 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, 80% of all road fatalities by only 52% of all vehicles. While the death rate in Africa is the highest (24.1 per 100,000 inhabitants), the lowest rate is to be found in Europe (10.3).