Sadly, the encouraging trend in decreased traffic fatalities and serious injuries that has been happening for the past few decades took a complete 180 last year. For the past few years, there have been just under 33,000 traffic fatalities per year. However, during the first six months of 2015 there were 14 percent more fatal accident than in the first six months of 2014, which would mean that there would be over 40,000 fatalities in 2015, according to CNN. There have not been over 40,000 traffic deaths since 2007. What are the reasons behind the increased dangers of driving? Car size may or may not have something to do with it. Larger cars not only have a higher risk of single-vehicle fatal rollover than smaller cars, but they also pose a risk to the occupants of smaller vehicles. The larger the discrepancy in size, the greater the risk. With every 1,000 pounds in weight difference, the occupants of the smaller vehicle stand a 47 percent increased chance of death in a two-car collision, according to a recent study. However, the increasingly popular cell phone use behind the wheel, in addition to more traffic on the roads, probably has more to do with the increased fatalities.
Cell Phones, Cheaper Gas, and a Growing Economy Lead to More Traffic and More Collisions
Many decades ago, as more cars took to the roads, driving became safer, which may seem very counterintuitive at first. However, to make driving safer, important steps were taken, such as creating better and more road infrastructure, designing more intelligent roads and better road surfaces, creating social changes in the way people drove (including the use of seat belts and following posted traffic signage), designing safer vehicles, and increasing law enforcement. While roads have become more crowded, driving mortality rates continued to fall thanks to the innovations in safety technology. However, 2015 may have been the breaking point where technology can no longer keep up with the amount of traffic on the road and the unsafe operating behaviors of the average driver. Due to the cost of gas increasing by 30 percent from 2014 to 2015, more people were on the road. Additionally, with a growing economy, more people had jobs to get to, further increasing traffic. Thirdly, cell phone use behind the wheel is reaching profound limits. Cell phones are involved in 40 percent of traffic collisions, according to Automotive Fleet. And, in a separate report by the National Safety Council, cell phones directly cause 26 percent of all traffic collisions. Cell phones cause the driver’s mind to wander, as well as greatly increase the time spent not looking at the road. This is amplified when phones are used to text, email, or look up directions.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a collision by a negligent driver, do not hesitate to contact the experienced Georgia car accident attorneys with the Law Offices of Roger Ghai, P.C. today to discuss your legal options for compensation.