There’s been a disturbing trend in the last few years all over the nation: While the total number of motor vehicle wrecks decreased, the total number of fatalities rose. In fact, between 2019 and 2020, fatal wrecks per mile driven rose 21% – the largest yearly increase since records started being kept.
The news is equally grim on a local level, here in Missouri. Recently released data from 2022 indicates that roadway fatalities increased for the third year in a row.
What’s causing so many roadway deaths?
The number one cause of a vehicle-related death in this state is actually the failure to wear a seat belt or other safety device in the car. Roughly 64% of Missouri’s fatalities can be attributed to this alone.
That means that the vast number of lives lost to traffic accidents in this state could be saved if drivers and passengers make a conscious effort to “buckle up.”
However, wearing a seatbelt won’t stop you from getting into a wreck in the first place, and experts increasingly lay the blame for a lot of roadway fatalities on distracted driving. While that’s always been a problem for drivers, modern electronics – including some devices that are often built directly into their vehicles – have compounded the problem.
Drivers now have to contend with all of the normal human distractions that can come from simply being busy or tired, but also their smartphones ringing while they’re driving if they forget to turn them off, the GPS talking to them to tell them where to turn and alerts from rear-facing cameras and more.
Another problem is that drivers can simply become somewhat nonchalant about what they’re doing. Commuters sometimes spend so much time in their vehicles that they know every turn of the road by heart and they accidentally “zone out” while driving – which can slow their reaction times when something unexpected happens.
No matter how proactive you are about your safety, you may still end up in a car wreck. If that happens, you have every right to pursue fair compensation for your injuries and losses.