In the last few years, researchers have noticed something of a concerning trend. While the overall trend for car accident fatalities in the United States has been dropping since around the 1970s, the last few years have actually seen an increase.
One thing that makes this very interesting is that these years have also seen slightly lower traffic levels than prior years. If there are fewer cars on the road, how is it that there are more fatal accidents every day? What is causing this trend?
An increase in speeding and dangerous driving activities
One reason is that drivers are being a bit more reckless, including breaking the speed limit more often. A common theory about this is that lower traffic levels actually promoted speeding. Previous traffic congestion may have kept speeds down, but removing that increased the odds of serious accidents at higher speeds.
Impaired driving is also very common
Impaired driving has certainly always been an issue, but some studies indicate that it has also increased recently. It’s important to note that impairment is not just from alcohol. It could be coming from the use of prescription drugs, which have grown very popular in the United States, or substances like marijuana.
The influence of distracted driving
Finally, many drivers are simply distracted behind the wheel. Smartphones are often to blame for this. Drivers will spend time checking social media, taking pictures, loading up playlists, using the GPS or Maps app on their phone or simply texting and driving. Any level of distraction makes an accident more likely.
Unfortunately, safe drivers also get caught up in these accidents caused by the negligent drivers around them. Those who have been injured must know what legal options they have to seek compensation.