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Odds of death in a car accident

The thing about odds is that they're not a perfect science in that they realistically don't apply to everyone the same way.

For instance, by looking at the statistics, you can figure out your odds of passing away in a car accident in the United States. However, are your odds really the same if you're a commercial driver as the odds for someone who is a stay-at-home parent? There are many factors involved, such as age and experience, that can change the likelihood of a deadly crash.

That said, it is interesting to look at the odds because they paint an overall picture of the risks. For instance, they tell you that your odds of being killed in a car accident in a single year are 1 in 9,008. Your odds for your entire life are 1 in just 114.

You can also break down the odds by specifics, like what type of vehicle is being used. Your yearly odds of dying on a motorcycle, for instance, are 1 in 77,656, while the lifetime odds are 1 in 985.

Does this mean that motorcycles are safer? It doesn't. The odds simply reflect the fact that most people never ride motorcycles. You're less likely to be killed because there is a good chance you'll never be in a motorcycle accident at all, while someone who rides every weekend clearly has a far greater chance of being hit.

Statistics do paint an interesting picture and help you see the risks, even if they don't work perfectly. They do help to illustrate how important it is for people to know their rights after they're injured or a loved one is killed since these events are relatively common.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, "Facts Statistics: Mortality risk," accessed Nov. 17, 2017

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