There is an oft repeated saying that notes "knowledge is power". This somewhat elevated statement is actually rather simple. Basically, the statement means the more you know about a subject the less "fear of the unknown" comes into play. For many drivers, there is great nervousness and fear about potentially becoming involved in a car accident. While such fears are well founded (100,000+ car accidents occur in Pennsylvania every year), if one reviews the statistics surrounding those auto accidents that have occurred in Pennsylvania from 2000 to the present, some incredible information comes to light. That is, the outcome of most car accidents is not as bad as some are led to believe.
While it is impossible to completely predict when and how an accident will occur, if you possess the facts about common accidents, your potential to avoid them increases. For example, from 2000 - 2007 PENNDOT reports that the vast majority of car crashes (roughly 60%) involve passenger cars. The number of accidents involving trucks, SUV's, and other vehicles com combined equate to roughly 40%. This is very telling because it shows what types are drivers are the most at risk.
Also, most accidents that occur are not what most people assume. That is, the "average person" assumes that head on collisions, side swiping and rear ending are the most common types of accidents. Actually, the most common accidents involve hitting a prone object. Prone objects include such structures as trees, telephone poles, mailboxes, etc. Obviously, hitting a prone structure can be dangerous under any circumstances. However, hitting a structure at a high rate of speed will prove to be far dangerous that hitting the structure at a nominal speed. So, refraining from speeding along with having properly functioning seatbelts and airbags, will reduce the potential for injury if a vehicle hits an object.
Another aspect you can take solace in is the fact that death and severe injury are not as common as some assume. Car accident deaths account for roughly 1.5% of all traffic accidents over the past 8 years. Serious injuries account for roughly 3% - 4% of car accidents. The vast majority of car accident outcomes involve only minor injuries and, in many cases, only property damage results.
It should also come as no surprise that the vast majority of people involved in car accidents fall in the age brackets of 16 - 20, 21 - 25, and 25 - 30. Most people assume as much since they realize insurance providers label younger drivers as "high risk". Understanding this demographic information provides clarity to common accidents and takes much of the unknown factor that creates fear.
Of course, the main way one avoids a car accident is driving safely. However, one can decrease the chances of being involved in a serious accident by playing to the statistics. For example, paying closer attention to fixed objects on the road will aid in avoiding them. Driving during school hours allows drivers to avoid a number of high risk young drivers. Purchasing a larger vehicle as opposed to a passenger car can reduce risks as well. Really, any examination of accident stats of the past 7 - 8 years will aid in avoiding accidents on Pennsylvania roads.