The vast majority of car accidents are not fatal. In many cases, there is merely property damage or minor injuries. However, there is always the risk of severe injury or death in any crash, and these accidents continue to take between 35,000 and 40,000 lives every year.

With this in mind, what are the factors that make it more likely that a crash will be fatal?

One of the major factors is speed. The faster that cars are traveling, the greater the amount of force enacted on each vehicle during the crash. With greater force comes the chances of more severe injuries. That’s not to say that people haven’t died in accidents at 10 miles an hour or survived accidents at 100 miles per hour. But there is a clear correlation between greater speed and car accidents.

Another potential factor is the type of crash. Cars on the interstate travel faster, but that’s not necessarily more dangerous because they’re all moving in the same direction. The odds of a head-on crash are very low. Because of that, evidence shows that intersections are incredibly dangerous. They can cause head-on crashes, T-bone crashes and rear-end accidents. The first two of those, which rarely happen on one-way streets, often lead to serious injuries because they are severe, traumatic crashes in which a lot of force directly impacts those in the car.

Have you lost a loved one in a car accident or suffered catastrophic injuries yourself? You need to know what legal rights you have. You may be able to seek compensation from the driver who caused the crash.