Years of awareness campaigns and heavy enforcement of road safety laws such as drunk driving crackdowns led to a decreasing number of fatalities, but today these numbers are once again on the rise. When you consider that today’s vehicles are packed even tighter with safety features designed to prevent accidents and reduce the chances of an injury, accidents are increasing in frequency again. In fact, car accident deaths increased eight percent in the year 2015, making it the largest year-to-year increase in roughly 50 years.
Why Are Accidents Increasing?
There are many things that can be blamed for the sharp increase in car accidents. Perhaps the most obvious is the ever-increasing amount of cell phone use behind the wheel. Despite the fact that most states have at least some form of a law on the books that restricts cell phone or mobile device usage while driving, people are continuing to have phone conversations, send text messages, read emails, and even play games while rolling down the road.
Drunk driving is in a sharp decline, but remains a constant threat for drivers. Drunk driving still causes thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries every year, making it still one of the most dangerous causes of car accidents. What’s even more frustrating for many people is the fact that most drunk driving accidents could have been prevented had the intoxicated driver taken the extra step to either get a ride home or stayed where they were until they were sober enough to drive safely.
Road conditions is another factor. As older generations continue to live longer and retain their ability to drive, the younger generations continue to add more cars to the road, making traffic heavier in cities across the nation. This has also placed a tremendous burden on infrastructure, as roads are continually crumbling and developing hazards like potholes, outdated traffic control devices, and more.
Finally, there’s one other factor many people don’t consider: our cars themselves. Cars are now easier to drive than ever before and have so many different safety systems that can do everything from apply gas and brakes to keep up with the car in front of us, slam on the brakes for us to prevent a rear-end accident, or even steer themselves to keep us from swaying out of our lane. This means drivers are no longer forced to concentrate as heavily on the roads around them, allowing their minds to wander. Even with all of the safety devices designed to prevent accidents, distraction still causes many dangerous collisions and injuries every year.
Speak with a Pocatello car accident attorney if you have been hurt in an auto accident. Call May, Rammell & Thompson now at (208) 623-8021 to request a case evaluation!