Early estimates show that 2021 was a more dangerous year on American roads than 2020, continuing an alarming trend. Deadly car accidents claim tens of thousands of lives every year and the problem is only getting worse.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gathers information on many aspects of driving safety. They recently released their first projections for the total number of deadly car crashes last year. According to NHTSA projections, 42,915 people were killed in vehicle accidents in 2021. That represents the largest total in more than a decade. It is also more than 10% higher than the death total in 2020.
The US Secretary of Transportation referred to the situation as a “crisis on American roadways.” That description is not an overstatement. After a long period of improving safety numbers, fatal accidents have been climbing for several years. Something needs to turn the tide to make driving safer for everyone.
Among the trends in fatal crashes is a rise in particular types of crashes. Multi-vehicle fatal accidents, fatalities on city streets, and fatalities among drivers over 65 have all risen more than 10%. Fatalities involving pedestrians and fatal truck accidents also rose last year. These are just a few of the accident types that increased in 2021.
On the good news front, the trend within 2021 moved in the right direction. The beginning part of the year was the worst, with the fatal accident rate dropping each quarter thereafter. While there were many more fatal accidents, there were also more miles driven. The rate of fatal crashes per mile driven was largely unchanged from 2020 to 2021.
One of the most important factors in surviving a car crash is wearing a seat belt. The NHTSA recently launched its Click It or Ticket advertising campaign to try to increase seat belt use. The ads accompany a step-up in seat belt enforcement to try to convince drivers to buckle up and make sure their passengers do the same.
Seat belts don’t prevent car accidents, but they can turn a fatal car accident into one where everyone walks away.
Serious motor vehicle accidents are a terrible ordeal. Many people are shocked to find that insurance companies will go to great lengths to avoid paying proper compensation after a crash. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash, it’s a good idea to have an experienced lawyer on your side. Call Ted B. Lyon & Associates at 866-503-4864 to discuss your case with a Dallas attorney today.