Fatal motor vehicle accidents are, unfortunately, on the rise across the country. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirms it.
According to the NHTSA, 42,915 lost their lives as a result of motor vehicle accidents in the United States in 2021. This represents a 10.5% increase in the rate of traffic fatalities in 2020. Perhaps more alarmingly, this is the highest rate of traffic fatalities the NHTSA has recorded in a given year since 2006.
Why Motor Vehicle Accidents Are on the Rise
It’s not entirely clear precisely why motor vehicle accidents resulting in death are becoming increasingly common in the US. Experts generally agree this trend is due to a combination of new factors and old ones.
For example, politicians and urban planners have often pointed out that infrastructure and highway/urban design in our country may contribute to a high rate of crashes. This is particularly true in regard to accidents that claim the lives of pedestrians and bicyclists.
In communities throughout the US, cities, and streets are often designed in a manner that accommodates drivers and allows them to travel at high rates of speed. This can put pedestrians at risk. Various organizations and individuals are working with city planners to address this problem.
However, infrastructure and urban planning are two factors that have always played a role in traffic accidents. More recent developments might explain why such accidents (especially those which claim lives) are becoming increasingly common.
For instance, smartphones are now ubiquitous. This means more and more drivers are distracted behind the wheel. If a driver is paying more attention to their phone than to the road in front of them, their odds of causing an accident rise dramatically.
Some have also noted that drivers appear to be engaging in risky behavior more often in the wake of the worst days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Partially, this might be due to the fact that fewer people were driving in general during this time. Those who were driving, therefore, grew accustomed to doing so on roads that were emptier than usual.
With less traffic on the roads, drivers may have been more inclined to speed, ignore traffic signals, etc. They might not have returned to safe driving behaviors since the pandemic began. Additionally, those who drove less during the pandemic didn’t have as many opportunities to maintain their driving skills. It’s, therefore, possible they are relearning how to drive safely.
None of this is meant to alarm anyone. Driving is a necessity for many Floridians. Data such as this shouldn’t necessarily keep you from driving when you have to. It should merely remind you to practice safe driving habits.
That said, you can’t control the habits of other drivers. Even if you exercise caution, you could still be involved in an accident if someone with whom you’re sharing the road is careless.
Hopefully, this will never happen to you. If it does, though, you can file a claim to recover financial compensation for your medical bills and related losses.
At Colson Hicks Eidson, our Miami car accident attorneys have significant experience helping victims recover the compensation they deserve. Learn more about how we can do the same for you by contacting us online or calling us at 305-476-7400.