The last quarter of the year has just started and although it’s early to draw conclusions, initial figures of crash-related serious injuries and deaths continue to inflate annually. In fact, 2015 data showed the largest single-year increase in traffic deaths in 50 years.
According to the National Safety Council, approximately 19,000 deaths and 2.2 million serious injuries have been reported since January 2016. Undoubtedly, the accident rate will increase significantly during the upcoming holidays due to increased traffic and more impaired drivers.
Reports also show that California is one of the top five states with the largest fatality increases. California’s accident rate climbed by 31%, ranking fourth among the U.S. states.
The trend toward increased accidents is somewhat counterintuitive. Road safety is a top governmental priority, both nationally and at the state level. Cars are more modern and well-equipped with state-of-the-art features that better enhance safe driving. Compare the typical car of today, which includes a number of airbags and anti-lock braking systems, to that of just 10 or 20 years ago. Many vehicles now also include advanced safety features, such as automatic emergency braking systems and cameras, both designed to help drivers avoid crashes in the first place.
Despite all of these technological advances, as the managing editor of Kelley Blue Book explains, “you could have all the air bags or warnings in the world and if you’re not paying attention[,] something bad can happen.”
Two factors that often combine to increase crash rates are reduced fuel prices and lower unemployment, both of which tend to put more people on the road. Distracted driving also plays a significant role in the increasing accident rate.
These new statistics highlight the importance of every driver’s behavior and commitment toward safe driving. Each of us must take extra precautions to keep safe while on the roads. We must always remember that behind these statistics are lost human lives.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, contact the California accident lawyers at Alexander Law Group, LLP for a free, no obligation consultation. Call 888.777.1776 to speak with an attorney right now.