You may have seen reports that fatal traffic accidents are occurring at an increased rate. This has been an issue of particular scrutiny for the last few years, especially because traffic levels have been a bit lower. Seeing fatality numbers go up while the number of miles driven goes down is certainly not what most people would have predicted, and it is concerning.
What is spurring this change? With fewer cars on the road, wouldn’t it make sense that there would be fewer accidents overall – and certainly fewer fatalities? The problem, it seems, has been an increase in reckless driving.
Making poor choices
For example, one thing that researchers have found is that speeding became more common when traffic levels fell. Car accidents that occur at higher speeds are more likely to result in fatalities. Rather than driving the way they always had and experiencing safer roads because of lower traffic levels, many Americans decided to speed up and instead increased the safety risks that they faced.
Speeding certainly isn’t the only issue, however. As one official put it: “There’s really no way around the fact that that’s just people making bad choices behind the wheel.”
Other “bad decisions” include speeding up to run a red light, texting and driving, passing aggressively, tailgating, getting in the car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and much more. Some reports have even said that people are currently more likely to pass on the shoulder or engage in other driving maneuvers that are both illegal and obviously dangerous.
Why did this change happen? That is a bit harder to pin down. It’s not exactly clear why people are making more poor decisions behind the wheel or why they have decided to collectively start taking more risks. What is clear is that they are doing so every day. This has made American roads as dangerous as they have been in a long time, especially with people driving more and more in 2023.
What options do you have?
You likely have to drive for work, school and many other reasons, so you may have no choice but to face these increased risks posed by other drivers. If you get injured, be sure to seek legal guidance, as you shouldn’t have to bear the financial consequences of another’s poor decisions.