Young people in New York and across the United States may face unexpected dangers from the most mundane sources. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of death for Americans age 44 and under is accidental injury. In 2016, 61,749 people lost their lives due to unintentional incidents, almost twice the number of lives taken by cancer and heart disease combined. Most of these accidental deaths stemmed from unintentional poisonings and motor vehicle crashes.

While accidental death can be a risk at any time, people can take action to minimize the threat. Roadway safety is critical to helping to prevent dangerous car accidents and the resulting severe injuries and even fatalities. Every year, 2 million people are injured and 32,000 killed due to car crashes. Seat belts can significantly reduce the risk of death in a crash while safe driving behaviors can play a major role in avoiding a collision in the first place.

Texting and driving and other forms of distracted driving can be one major roadway danger. Just looking at a phone while driving diverts the mind and the eyes from the road. In 2016, 3,450 people were killed as a result of distracted driving crashes, and many thousands more were injured.

Bicycle safety can also be critical to saving lives. In 2016, 840 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle accidents. While cyclists can’t stop drivers from behaving negligently, they can take action to protect themselves by installing visibility equipment and ensuring that their tires and brakes are functioning properly.

Motor vehicle accidents can be devastating to people who are seriously injured as a result of someone else’s negligent, distracted or dangerous driving. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help accident victims seek compensation for their damages, including medical bills and lost wages.