Deadly Car Crashes Remained High in 2023

Preliminary numbers from the National Safety Council paint a bleak picture of fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2023. While not quite as high as in 2022, deadly crashes are still up quite a bit from pre-pandemic levels. More work remains to reset expectations when it comes to safe driving practices.

Fatal Accidents by the Numbers

In general, cars get safer year after year. New safety features make it less likely that a driver or passenger will die in an accident. Based on this factor alone, it makes sense that traffic fatalities per mile driven should constantly be going down.

This pattern has held true for the most part since the early 1900s. That said, 2014 marked the lowest rate of deaths per vehicle mile, and things are trending in the wrong direction. The years since 2019 have been markedly worse when it comes to deadly driving incidents.

While not quite matching the death toll of 2022, last year saw an estimated 44,450 motor vehicle deaths nationwide. That number is more than 13 percent higher than in 2019. It demonstrates that things are not back to normal when it comes to safe driving practices.

Less Driving, More Fatal Driving Accidents

If you’ve commuted regularly over the past half-decade, you know that the streets are still emptier than they used to be. The increase in remote working opportunities has led many people to abandon the frustration of rush hour traffic.

While this should make roads safer, statistically, it hasn’t. Reckless driving rose dramatically even while many chose to stay at home in 2020. It may be the case that the bad driving habits of that period have carried over even as more cars returned to the roads.

Traffic Law Enforcement and the Expectation of Good Driving

In many places, police have reduced their efforts or lost the capacity to enforce traffic laws as they once did. Drivers who think they won’t be caught may be more likely to speed or engage in aggressive or careless driving. Even the statewide effort to increase ticketing can be effective only if drivers learn to fear breaking the law again.

It would be wonderful if people chose to drive safely for their own sake and the sake of their fellow motorists and pedestrians. But that isn’t reality. You don’t have to spend much time driving in and around Dallas to spot dangerous, negligent driving practices. Enforcement is a key part of ensuring that drivers conduct themselves properly.

Speak to a Dallas Wrongful Death Attorney After an Accident

The loss of a loved one is an unbearable tragedy. Fatal car accidents are often the result of negligence. The drivers who cause these accidents should be held accountable.

At Ted B. Lyon & Associates, our skilled lawyers represent surviving family members of those lost to fatal crashes. Call our Dallas offices at 800-TedLyon or 800-833-5966, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.