The last year and a half has brought unprecedented challenges to nearly every aspect of our lives. Take, for example, our driving habits and behaviors.
Statistics have revealed that the number of fatal car accidents has increased despite fewer cars on the road and people driving fewer miles. So, how can this be?
What is behind the troubling trends?
In 2020, fatal car accident rates were up 7.2 percent compared with the previous year. And in the first three months of this year, there were 830 more fatalities than there were last year during this same period.
This is undoubtedly a troubling trend. And unfortunately, the reasons behind them are primarily due to human errors and risky behaviors. Some of the causes of these fatal accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Reckless driving
And on top of these, fewer drivers were wearing their seat belts, exposing them to more catastrophic injuries in the event of a crash.
People have mistakenly assumed that police were stopping drivers less frequently during the pandemic and that fewer cars on the road meant it was safer to engage in risky driving. However, both of these are dangerous misconceptions.
At the heart of all this data is the fact that many of the fatal accidents over the last several months could have been prevented if drivers had simply followed traffic laws and practiced safe driving.
The road ahead: Staying safe in the future
Most drivers take whatever precautions they can to prevent an accident. They drive the speed limit and hand someone else the keys if they have been drinking; they stash their phones in the backseat to avoid distraction and buckle up whenever they get behind the wheel.
Taking these steps can indeed protect you by preventing accidents and keeping you safer, should one occur.
Unfortunately, we cannot control the actions of other drivers across Seattle. Thus, those who do cause a serious car crash should be held accountable for their negligence. Reporting the accident to police and insurance and filing a legal claim can be crucial in acknowledging damages, reprimanding bad behaviors and hopefully, preventing future recklessness.