The US Department of Transportation began an annual census of motor vehicle deaths beginning in 1975. In that year, 44,525 deaths were reported, and the first few years of the census, the numbers rose each year. The highest total reported was 1979, when 51,093 people were killed in crashes. In 1992, the toll dipped below 40,000 for the first time and then stayed between 40,000-43,000, until 2008, when fatalities dropped to 37,423.
The next few years saw further decreases, and hit a low in 2011 with 32,479 car accident related deaths reported. Relatively low increases or decreases were reported in the following years, until 2015, when the toll of fatal crash victims jumped back over 35,000. The spike was over 7 percent, and as the counting has begun for 2016 fatal crashes, it’s estimated that the fatality percentage will rise again.
Why So Many Crashes?
As new technology makes vehicles easier to drive, and new safety features a there is great concern over why the fatality rate has risen in record numbers for the last two years. There has been some speculation as to why. One theory is it has to do with the economy. The big spike took place in part when the economy showed signs of recovery. Many economists actually predicted there would be more car crashes as more people were on the road, and many were taking long distant trips or the first time in years.
A Breakdown in Attentive Driving
Another theory blames the increase on people’s failure to pay attention. While drinking and driving has been an issue for a long time, it is only in recent years that cellphones, especially smartphones, have been commonplace. Investigations into serious accidents have shown that many participants in serious and fatal accidents were talking on their phones, participating in social media or texting at the time of the accident. Sadly it is not uncommon for the person who has been focused that winds up hurt.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by another person’s negligent driving, it is likely your life will be changed forever. It is important to think about the impact your injuries will have on your future. When seeking compensation for injuries suffered in a car crash many people find it beneficial to work with a personal injury attorney.