Back in 1981, just under 50,000 Americans died in car accidents. The next decade saw a decline to just over 41,000 ten years later. By 2011, the total number of fatalities during the year had dropped all the way to just over 32,000. It looked as if the United States was on pace to get under that 30,000 threshold.
But that did not happen. Instead, fatal accidents begin trending upward again. In the last few years, there has been a marked shift, with increased fatalities noted for the last three years in a row. In one case, the increase was as much as 10%, which is a major jump.
What caused the shift?
The biggest question that these statistics often bring up is just why things changed. It was generally assumed that fatalities were happening less often because cars were getting safer. New safety devices were in place, such as seatbelts and airbags, and new safety technology was being developed all the time. That has not changed, but the decrease in fatalities has.
The biggest reason for this is just the risky driving that people are willing to engage in. This includes things like drunk driving or distracted driving. It also includes breaking the speed limit or driving without a seatbelt. As these activities become more common, it is expected that fatalities will continue to rise. New technology may be developed to combat this change, but it is clear that the actions of the drivers are having the biggest impact on their own safety.
If you’ve been hit by one of these reckless drivers and suffered serious injuries, you need to know how to seek financial compensation.