As you drive to work, school, or social outings, you’re bound to see signs that warn you of the dangers of distracted driving, drunk driving, and speeding. These efforts, coupled with other public safety initiatives, have sought for years to crack down on dangerous driving behaviors.
Unfortunately, serious wrecks continue to occur at a terrifying pace.
In fact, in 2020 alone, there were nearly 1.6 million accidents that resulted in injuries. Nearly 36,000 accidents in that year resulted in death. In 2021, approximately 43,000 people were killed in car accidents, which marked a 10.5% increase over 2020’s numbers, reaching the highest rate in more than a decade. So, what is contributing to the excessive number of accidents seen on America’s roadways?
Top contributing factors to serious car accidents
There can be many factors that contribute to a serious or fatal car accident. Let’s look at some of the most common so that you know what to look out for when you’re out on the road.
- Intoxication: Some studies show that more than a third of all traffic-related deaths are attributable to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This makes sense given the impact intoxication has on driving abilities. Those who are impaired are less aware of their surroundings, less capable of maintaining their lane, and experience a decrease in their reaction time. Any one of these limitations, which often leads to erratic driving behavior, can lead to a serious wreck in a matter of seconds.
- Speeding: Speeding accounts for slightly less than a third of all traffic fatalities, which is still over 10,000 deaths a year. Those who fail to obey the speed limit can struggle to stop in time for slow or halted traffic, and other drivers might improperly gauge their speed when making a turn or changing lanes. Given the speed at which these accidents occur, those involved tend to suffer serious injuries, many of which are fatal.
- Fatigue: Truckers and other motorists often push themselves too hard, taking to the road after a bad night’s sleep or when they’re sick. This lack of rest puts drivers at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel or losing focus on their surroundings. As a result, tired and fatigued drivers can veer into oncoming traffic, swerve out of their lane, and fail to stop at stop signs and traffic signals.
- Texting and driving: There’s no doubt that texting and driving continues to be a problem across our nation, ripping driver’s eyes off the road and resulting in thousands of deaths each year.
- Miles driven: In recent years, as the world has returned to normalcy, more cars are taking to the road with more miles being driven. As a result, there’s been a steady uptick in accidents. This is understandable from a statistical point-of-view.
Picking up the pieces after a devastating car accident
The statistics are frightening. But they do little to capture the true impact of these wrecks. Those impacted by these crashes are left to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, which can be challenging to do given the broad implications of a serious car accident.
Those who are lucky enough to survive their accident can be left with significant physical injuries that limit their mobility and are painful to live with, and the emotional and financial toll can be staggering. Family’s that lose a loved one to a car accident can struggle, too, as they fight to find a way to cover final expenses and offset their loved one’s lost wages.
Fortunately, some relief may be found by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. If successful, accountability can be obtained, and compensation can be recovered.