2015 statistics tell us that US roads have become more deadly than in the last five decades. In 2015, there were 35,092 deaths on all US roads. This is an increase of 7.2% from the year before, and the biggest surge since 1966.
Further, the National Safety Council reports that 2016 could be even worse; fatalities jumped 9% in the first half of this year.
That is why the US government this week issued a call to action to figure out what is causing the increased fatalities. And many experts are wondering what the causes are as well:
- Smartphone use?
- Fracking? Seriously?
- Climate change?
- Strong economy and more economic activity?
Others think that lower gas prices has caused people to spend more time driving, which of course increases the chances of dying in an accident. Due to the boom in fracking, there is often a glut of oil on the world market, keeping gas prices low.
Some economic indicators suggest that there are more cars and trucks on the road. More business activity means more trucks hitting more cars, causing more deaths. Further, better economic times also makes more teenagers hit the roads, as they are more likely to be working. Teenagers always are higher risk drivers and are involved in more accidents.
Another factor, experts suggest, is that last winter was quite warm and people will usually drive more when the weather is better. Ironically, bad winter weather can save lives as fewer people drive.
As truck and car accident attorneys who represent the victims of car accidents, we take particular note of trends such as these. There are likely many causes for this problem, but all drivers would be advised to keep these safety tips in mind:
- Do not drive while eating, drinking or putting on make up.
- Do not drive while adjusting the radio.
- Do not drive while texting, taking photos or surfing the Internet.
- Do not drive while talking on a cell phone.
- Make sure you are well rested and not distracted while driving.
- Stay 100% focused on your driving.
If more Americans would just do those things, accident fatalities would decrease. Unfortunately, many drivers do not adhere to these simple rules, and terrible accidents occur. I have worked on hundreds of Virginia car accident cases over the years where a driver that caused the accident simply wasn’t paying attention to what he or she was doing and caused a violent collision. This is all to typically the story. Following basic safety rules can save lives… it is as simple as that.