In recent years, the number of fatal car accident crashes in the United States has seen a drastic reduction, despite the growing population of drivers, and the prevalence of distractions in the form of new technologies – cellphone-talking, texting, etc. More cars are on the road than ever; and yet, the number of people who die from them has seen a steady decline, culminating in the fewest fatalities from car accidents in 2010 in over half-a-century.
You should note though, that the number of actual car collisions still occurred in far-too-frequent numbers, but advancements in passenger-car-safety construction has reduced the number of resulting deaths. Nonetheless, car accidents are still the leading cause of death for the age group 3-34.
The most common causes of fatal car accidents often involve illegal activities. As you would probably guess from the ever-present entreaties on television commercials to avoid doing this, alcohol consumption, leading to intoxication while driving, is easily the biggest factor in fatal car accidents. Alcohol-induced driving often leads to speeding, which, by itself, decreases the time you have to react to a sudden swerve by another driver, or an unexpected obstacle in the road; can you just imagine how much worse being inebriated (and thus slow to recognize situations) makes this? Both public programs and bolstered legal awareness have reduced this over the past two decades; nonetheless, drunk-driving still leads all other factors in car-related deaths.
The second-largest culprit in fatal car accidents is distraction, in all its carried forms. Usually, in today’s tech-driven world, these distractions all stem from use of the cell-phone. Nearly 20% of car fatalities involve people; usually younger than 20 years old, texting friends or talking on the phone while driving. Before you even know what’s happening, you might be staring straight ahead and not realize you are shifting lanes, due to the distraction in your ear. Thousands lose control of their vehicles each year while similarly occupied, and many lives are destroyed because of it.
Another illegal activity responsible for a large number of car accidents resulting in fatalities is the smoking of marijuana. It has the proven effect of slowing down the senses, and slurring reaction times. 2.5% of deaths each year can be attributed to driving while under the influence of marijuana, which translates to (low) tens-of-thousands.
Decreasing Car Collision Averages
Despite the nationwide decrease in car collision averages, population increases in select places here and there are also responsible, in general, for car accidents. For example, in Spring Hill, Brooksville and Wesley Chapel, Florida, certain roads are more congested (such as Suncoast Tollroad or I-75), which is bad for the car-pedestrian and car-motorcycle fatal collision accidents. They number, respectively, 17% and about 20% yearly, and are spread across the strata of alcohol-related car accidents, speeding, marijuana, and cell-phone distraction. Compounding the effects of these car accidents is the fact that, despite the law, seat belts are not always worn, with numbers as high as 60% of those killed found without the life-saving strap. It is easy to see that congested passageways like the Veterans can only serve to bump up these numbers from the national averages. As you would expect, the most common causes of fatal car accidents can all be avoided; even those due to adverse weather conditions, with just a bit of planning. At Lowman Law Firm, we encourage all of those on the roadway to remain as safe as possible and to help to ensure the safety of others.