For the past few years, the number of fatal accidents in the United States has increased. Between 2020 and 2021, for instance, the total number of fatal crashes went up by more than 10%. And this was after it had risen by 7% in the previous year, from 2019 into 2020.
Moreover, the number of fatal accidents in 2022 shows signs that it could increase again. We certainly don’t have the full statistics, yet, since the year is not over, but there is reason to believe that this will be the third year of increased fatalities in a row. That is certainly concerning when you look at the downward historical trends, so why have things changed?
Risky driving has become the norm
One thing that researchers found is that risky driving behaviors were more common in the last few years than they had been previously. They believe that this may have led to more accidents and especially more serious crashes.
For example, even at times when traffic levels were decreasing, traffic deaths would increase. This was often linked to things like speeding on roads that were suddenly less congested or driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. There’s also some evidence for a reduction in seat belt use.
Originally, experts hoped that they would only see a short-term jump, perhaps just for a single year, and then the downward trend would resume. But it does not look like this is on track to happen, and so it is very important for those who have been seriously injured or lost loved ones in car accidents to know exactly what legal rights they have to seek financial compensation.