3 Stats About Car Accidents for Aspiring Auto Body Estimators

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Driving is one of the most dangerous ways to travel. According to Transport Canada, in 2014, traffic accidents resulted in 1,834 deaths and a total of 149,900 injuries. In addition, The Association For Safe International Road Travel states that, worldwide, “Road traffic crashes rank as the 9th leading cause of death.” Even when there are no fatalities, there is a high likelihood that an accident will cause damage to at least one vehicle, meaning that some repairs might be necessary.

Certain trends can help predict the frequency and severity of accidents for cars and their occupants. If you’re considering a career as an auto body estimator, here’s a closer look at the numbers behind the car accidents that often need repairs.

1. Future Auto Body Estimators: Distracted Driving Causes Lots of Accidents

The words “distracted driving” likely bring to mind an image of a teen texting while they drive into a ditch, or into the path of another vehicle. But Transport Canada includes much more than texting in this category; maps, grooming products, food, passengers, and even objects outside of the vehicle are all considered potential distractions.

Whatever it is that might catch a driver’s eye, distracted driving can lead to some pretty serious consequences. While Canadian statistics aren’t currently available, Transport Canada quotes American traffic findings, stating that “16% of fatalities and 20% of injuries in the U.S. involved driver distraction.” CAA points to numbers from Alberta Transportation that back up a similar claim, stating that “Distracted drivers are 3 times more likely to be in a crash than attentive drivers.”

Overall, if you work as a collision estimator, odds are pretty good that you’ll encounter several accidents caused by distracted driving.

2. Expect Drivers to Have an Accident About Once Every 18 Years

According to estimates, the average driver will report being in a collision once every 17.9 years. While this estimate does include serious accidents, it also includes minor scrapes and fender-benders, so most drivers don’t need to worry about their health and safety when looking at this stat.

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Drivers can expect to be in an accident every couple of decades

Interestingly, a Transport Canada poll of Canadians found that 47 per cent of people believed “that speeding was a main cause of traffic collisions,” yet “70% admitted to exceeding the speed limit at least sometimes,” suggesting that people are aware of their own bad driving habits, which are likely to lead to accidents.

3. Collision Estimators Can Expect Large Cars to Fare Better In Accidents

Smaller, more efficient vehicles are better for the environment than large SUVs. However, an aspiring auto body estimator might be interested to learn that smaller cars also put drivers in a slightly more precarious position.

Studies have found that in collisions between an SUV and a small car, the driver of the SUV is about 7.6 times less likely to die than the driver of the smaller car. Even in a car with a superior safety rating to that of the SUV, the driver of a small car would be about 4.5 times more likely to die.

Despite these findings, it’s important to note that small cars are still considered very safe to drive, and regularly perform well in safety testing.

Car accidents are a fairly frequent occurrence, and can be costly both to finances and to health. Future collision estimators can get a lot of insight into their industry by learning a bit about the different circumstances that can lead to accidents, as well as their potential repercussions.

Do you want to enter the field of auto body estimating?

Visit ATC for more information on how we prepare our students for rewarding careers in the auto industry.

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