In California and throughout the nation, auto accident statistics tend to fluctuate. As times change, the challenges that people face when they take to the road in any capacity – as a driver, passenger, motorcyclist, bicyclist or pedestrian – change with it. Currently, there is an ongoing crisis that has changed the way people live and work. It has resulted in a radically different landscape increasing the number of road deaths. Given the personal and financial costs that accompany an accident with injuries and loss of life, those impacted should think about the future.
U.S. road fatalities the highest since 2007
Since early 2020, there has been a troubling increase in auto accident fatalities and experts are speculating why. Last year, there were nearly 38,700 road fatalities in the U.S. This is the most since 2007. A representative for the National Safety Council (NSC) called it an unprecedented rise. The current situation is believed to be a significant factor in how people are behaving on the road.
There is concern that many habits drivers have grown used to will be hard to break once the roads are again busy with people heading to on-site work, kids going to school, extracurricular activities back to normal and leisure trips returning to their previous levels. Still, with a more than 7% increase in road fatalities in 2020 and a massive rise of 18% in the first half of 2021, there is fear that the problems are here to stay.
This all came about while people were driving far less with a drop of over 13% since people were told to remain home. For its part, California saw a 5% rise in road deaths in 2020. In addition, law enforcement has noticed the number of drivers speeding has been growing with the number of these citations for drivers exceeding 100 mph doubling between 2019 and 2020. Recklessness was also a problem with 232 arrests.
Those injured or who have lost a loved one must address the future
There were expectations that as people returned to their customary way of life, road safety would improve. In 2021, that has not been the case. In assessing the aftermath of motor vehicle accidents, driver behavior is not only raising the chance of a collision but simultaneously increasing the potential severity of the accident itself. People who have been hurt and are dealing with the long-term consequences of injuries, medical costs, lost income and more should know the available options. This is especially true for families who have lost a loved one. Investigating and pursuing a case may require guidance. Consulting with professionals can provide information with what steps to take.