It’s important to understand the very real dangers that you face every day on the roads in Colorado. Car accidents may be even more common than you realize, with 1.2 million people passing away due to injuries sustained in these crashes each year, according to the World Health Organization. If that seems like a staggering number, remember that it is only the statistic for fatalities, not for overall injuries or crashes.

In fact, for those who are either injured or disabled after being in car accidents, reports show that there are as many as 50 million cases per year.

While many people who are injured or killed are in other automobiles, people near or on the roadways are in just as grave of danger. Around 50 percent of those involved are cyclists or pedestrians. They are more likely to die in a crash due to the lack of safety devices and their level of exposure.

In vehicles, safety devices can help to keep people alive, even if they do end up crashing. The odds of someone passing away in the accident go down by an incredible 61 percent if they just use a seat belt. Similarly, children are 35 percent less likely to die if child restraint systems are utilized and properly installed. Though they are rarely used, helmets also make it 45 percent less likely that victims will suffer serious head injuries.

While most of these are global numbers, they do illustrate just how dangerous the roads can be. If you have been injured or if a loved one has been killed in an accident, be sure that you know your rights.

Source: World Health Organization, “10 facts about road safety” accessed Mar. 13, 2015