While the Great Recession was a devastating period of economic downturn, there was one ray of hope — traffic fatalities decreased. Driving behavior was different during that time. With so much financial security, many Texas drivers cut back on road trips and other unnecessary driving. Sadly, car accident deaths are on the rise again.
In 2018, 4.5 million people suffered serious injuries in car crashes. That same year, car wrecks killed approximately 40,000 people. According to experts, the problem is not getting much better.
Over 120,000 deaths in 3 years
In 2016, 2017 and 2018, annual car accident deaths totaled over 40,000. While some might point out that there was a 1% decrease between 2017’s deaths and the estimated number of 2018’s deaths, this is only a difference of 231 people. It is also important to remember that the 40,000 deaths from 2018 is only an estimate and that the real number could possibly be higher.
According to the National Safety Council, car accident deaths have been consecutively rising for several years. However, the NSC also believes that these deaths could finally be leveling off. It points to the relatively steady death rates from the past three years as evidence of this.
There are still too many car accident deaths
In 2018, the number of traffic fatalities was a whopping 14% higher than in 2014. This means that it is possible to have fewer car accident deaths, but the NSC did not give a direct cause for these increases. However, it did point out that pedestrian deaths spiked in 2017.
New technology also appears to be a serious problem behind the wheel. Distracted driving causes around 8% of all car accidents, and drivers who cannot keep their eyes off their phones are not the only problem. Drowsy drivers who have not had enough sleep cause 2% of car accidents. It can be difficult to realize that drivers who are sleepy or who cannot look away from their smart phones may compromise your safety.
What can I do?
Protecting yourself and your loved ones is important. You should always wear your seatbelt and stay alert while driving. Avoiding distracting behavior like fiddling with the radio or talking on the phone is also important. Unfortunately, even if you follow every rule of the road, there are still other drivers who do not care about safety.
Car accident deaths can affect entire families and communities. If a distracted or negligent driver killed your loved one in a car accident, you know that you need help. Your family might be struggling to grieve while also dealing with lingering financial damages, like lost wages and unexpected funeral expenses. Understandably, you probably feel confused about your options and how to move forward. While no two situations are alike, an experienced attorney can help explain your options for seeking compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.