The National Safety Council compiles all kinds of nationwide statistics about traffic accidents, and is therefore able to spot trends. For example, the NSC reported that in the first half of 2015, the number of serious injuries resulting from car crashes increased 30 percent over the same period in 2014. The number of deaths-about 19,000-represented a 14 percent increase. This upward trend in both injuries and fatalities includes causes such as drunk driving, distracted driving and lack of seatbelt use. However, there is another reason for car crashes.
Good times, more crashes
The NSC sees a good economy with associated lower gas prices as the reason for so many of the vehicle crashes in the U.S. It is a matter, they say, of following the numbers. In the period from January to June 2015, there were 2.3 million injuries serious enough to require medical attention. The associated costs of about $152 billion were also up. These included not only medical costs, but also loss of wages and productivity plus property damages.
On the road again
The point is, when people have jobs they spend more time in their vehicles. They drive to work and back, and they have more disposable income, some of which they use to take their families on vacation, often by car. There was a decline in traffic fatalities after 2007, and the number remained fairly steady from 2008 to 2014. However, in looking at the increase in injuries and fatalities that appeared in 2015, experts point to a trend rather than a spike. The highest numbers show up during the summer months and in September.
Increasing the chances of an accident
The economy is not always directly responsible for the rise in vehicle accident statistics. These days, people cannot ponder accident causes without thinking about the issue of texting. NSC findings indicate that engaging in digital messaging while behind the wheel raises the probability of a car crash by eight times. In fact, texting or talking on a mobile phone while driving causes 27 percent of all traffic accidents.
Many motorists may not realize how common motor vehicle accidents really are, but paying attention to the statistics may help them pay more attention to their driving. Those who have benefitted personally from an improved economy and are spending more time on the road should keep in mind, however, that the unexpected can happen. People who are in a car crash and sustain injuries should remember that a personal injury attorney experienced with handling cases involving vehicle accidents is standing by to help.