When you drive your car, you know you need to use reasonable care to reduce your risk of a crash. You have the right to expect that other motorists will respect the rules of the road and will be careful not to hurt you. Unfortunately, your right to safe roads depends upon other motorists fulfilling their obligations to avoid accidents by exercising caution. Evidence suggests that drivers are not fulfilling their safety obligations and are sending accident rates skyrocketing.
With an increasing number of fatal car accidents occurring on U.S. roads, your chances of being hurt or killed in an auto accident are much greater now than they were two years ago. You need to know why this is happening so you can do everything possible to protect yourself.
You also need to know what the law is in case another driver acts negligently and causes your injury. You may be eligible for compensation for your losses, which the other driver's insurance company would be obligated to cover.
Many factors are causing more deadly accidents to occur in the United States. NPR indicates that there was a 14 percent rise in the number of fatalities in motor vehicle accidents between 2014 and 2016. There were increases both between 2014 and 2015; and between 2015 and 2016. Just between 2015 and 2016 alone, six percent more people died in motor vehicle accidents.
A big part of why this is happening is because gas prices are low and the economy is doing better. When people have more money to spend, they often do more activities and they drive more. This increases traffic. A traffic increase translates to an increased risk of collisions. Not only are there simply more people on the roads who could crash, but there is also the issue of the fact that highly-trafficked areas could be more dangerous. If there is a crowded intersection and even one car loses control or fails to stop in a high traffic, this is likely to set off a chain reaction. The more cars there are on the road, the greater the chances of a chain reaction occurring and multiple vehicles becoming involved in a pileup.
While more traffic explains a lot of why accidents are happening more than ever, increased road travel is not the only explanation for the fact there were more fatalities in 2016 than the year prior. Fatalities exceeded 40,000 in 2016 for the first time since 2007, in part, because of driver actions. An estimated 94 percent of all accidents are attributed to human error, and drivers have increased the chance of making mistakes by increasingly relying on in-vehicle infotainment systems, even though Live Science reports on the dangers of in-car technology and explains that voice-activated systems still present a major cognitive distraction.
If a distracted driver causes a crash, victims need to know their rights and take action against that motorist for failing to fulfill his duty to keep the roads safe by following the rules. Contact an experienced auto accident attorney who can discuss your options.