Virtually everyone who operates a motor vehicle does so knowing that driving a car or riding a motorcycle involves a certain degree of risk. It’s important that motorists, vehicle designers, vehicle manufacturers, law enforcement, government agencies, and all other relevant parties take the necessary steps to minimize the chances of motor vehicle accidents occurring.
Unfortunately, although vehicles are theoretically becoming safer, data indicates that fatal accidents are becoming increasingly common across the United States. A number of factors may be to blame for this alarming trend.
Fatal Traffic Accidents on the Rise in the US
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 42,915 people in the US lost their lives as a result of motor vehicle accidents in 2021. To put that in perspective, motor vehicle accidents claimed 38,824 lives in 2020. That means traffic accident fatalities throughout the country increased by about 10.5% in just one year.
Some might assume this sharp increase is due to the pandemic. In 2020, when COVID-19 was keeping many Americans in their homes, there may have been relatively few cars on the road. Now that lockdowns are no longer in place, people are driving more often again. This naturally would result in a higher rate of accidents.
That is a logical conclusion to arrive at. However, according to the data, the rate of traffic accident fatalities in 2021 was the highest it has been since 2005. Factors which may account for this include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:
Lack of Practice
There is an argument to be made that the pandemic did legitimately play a role in this trend. Specifically, because many Americans were not driving as often during lockdowns, it’s possible that some are now getting into accidents more often simply because they are out of practice. Someone’s ability to competently and safely operate a motor vehicle can atrophy if they spend a long stretch of time not driving.
Even before the pandemic, research indicated that distracted driving has become an increasingly significant factor in traffic accidents and deaths.
Most readers can probably guess why. In the digital age, smartphones and other such distractions have been preventing motorists from paying attention to the road when driving.
Although a range of innovations in vehicle safety have helped some drivers avoid accidents, other developments in vehicle design and manufacturing trends have resulted in crashes being deadlier when they do occur.
Specifically, in recent years, vehicle designers have been releasing motor vehicles that are relatively heavy when compared to previous models. This can potentially keep a vehicle’s driver and passengers safer. However, anyone struck by a heavy vehicle is more likely to sustain injuries than they would be if they were involved in an accident with a more lightweight vehicle.
This is not meant to frighten anyone or discourage them from driving. Motorists simply deserve to be aware of this data.
They also deserve to be compensated if they are involved in accidents resulting from the negligence of others. If you have been harmed in an accident that could have been avoided had another party not been negligent, a Los Angeles car accident attorney at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg can help you pursue the compensation for which you may be eligible. Contact us online or call us at 310-997-0904 to schedule your free consultation.