For many years, it seemed that the roads were getting safer. If you look at the historical data from the 1970s, for example, fatal car accidents peaked. After that, they began to decline. There were still accidents, but things like seatbelts and airbags drastically reduced the fatality rates and kept people safe.
That has changed in recent years. The government has seen a consistent increase in fatal accident statistics. The downward trend seems to be a thing of the past, and the number of fatalities on the road has been going up.
Some are quick to write this off as a simple mathematical issue. The population of the United States is getting much larger, there are more cars on the road and so you’re naturally going to have more fatal accidents. But it’s not quite that easy to explain the phenomenon.
Risky driving behaviors
What has often been found to create this increase in fatalities is that people are taking more risks on the road. They’re not wearing their seatbelts. They are looking at the phone while they drive. They’re driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
For instance, traffic levels dropped in 2020 and more people are now working from home. This leads to lower traffic levels during rush hour. This change could have reduced the number of fatal accidents, but drivers have increased their average speed as a response to lower levels of traffic congestion. When accidents are happening at higher speeds, fatalities are more likely, so these driving behaviors have proven to be very problematic.
Have you lost a loved one in a car accident or have you suffered injuries that led to medical bills, lost wages and much more? Be sure you know how to seek financial compensation.