Overall, American roads have been trending safer. There have been fewer fatal accidents with each passing decade. After fatalities peaked back in the 1970s, there has been a general decline since.
However, in recent years, traffic deaths have surged upward again. This happened even though traffic levels themselves were lower. That’s the first suggestion that something is off. With lower traffic levels, one would assume that there would be fewer car accidents and fewer fatalities. But that’s not what’s been happening, as fatal accidents have – very recently – become more and more common.
Driving behaviors are contributing to this shift
Studies have found that people’s driving behaviors are significantly contributing to this increase in crashes. Specifically, there has been more reckless driving, distracted driving and impaired driving behavior occurring in recent years. People have also been speeding more often, perhaps because traffic levels have been lower
These statistics definitely seem to indicate that it is people who are causing these accidents and making the roads more dangerous than they were for previous generations. It’s not simply that the country is growing and that there are more people on the roads, as the accident trends seem to be independent of the number of vehicles in operation.
Modern cars are only getting safer
The second piece of evidence which illustrates that people are significantly at fault for this change is that modern vehicles have never been as safe as they are today. In the 1970s and before, safety systems were very limited or nonexistent. Today, people have far more options than just a seatbelt or even an airbag. Their cars are filled with safety technology, such as automatic braking systems, lane departure warning systems, crumple zones and much more.
Because cars are safer and fatal accidents are becoming more common, this once again suggests that it is the drivers of those cars who are to blame. It is not the vehicles themselves, which are doing what they can to lower the loss of life.
What are your legal options?
Have you been in an accident that led to serious injuries or even the death of a loved one? Take the time to carefully look into all of your legal options. As drivers have become more aggressive and less attentive in recent years, it is entirely possible that another motorist involved in your crash owes you compensation for causing your harm.