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Why are traffic fatalities increasing?

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Throughout the United States, there are reports that traffic fatalities are increasing. In April 2020, all 50 states reported an increase in traffic fatalities with an average of 36.6 percent. There are several reasons that traffic fatalities seem to be increasing, even as fewer cars are on the roads due to lockdowns related to the pandemic.

According to McKinney car accident lawyer Mark Forest Underwood,  traffic fatalities were on the decline for many years , but they have been climbing since 2015, when auto accident fatalities rose 10.5%. Fatalities rose again in 2016, when the number of deaths rose another 5.6%.

Keep reading to learn more about why fatalities are increasing and what you can do if your loved one is killed in an accident.


According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA), speeding has caused significant danger on the roads for decades. In 2018, in speed-related 9,378 people accidents.

It is important to note that speeding may not mean you are traveling over the posted speed limit. Many speed-related accidents are because the driver was traveling too fast for road conditions. For example, if it is raining, you should not travel at the posted speed limit but should slow down to avoid hydroplaning.

You should also travel at a slower speed if you are on a dark road or a road you have not driven on before. Speeding is dangerous not only to the driver and their passengers but also to others on the road. Driving at an unsafe speed can cause you to lose control of our car and strike another vehicle.

Lack of defensive driving

There are many things you can do to be a defensive driver. Always wear a seatbelt and get adequate sleep to avoid driving while drowsy. Never get behind the wheel of a car if you have been drinking. Pay attention to other vehicles and hazards on the road so that you can take evasive measures should something go wrong.

Put your cell phone in a place where you cannot get it, if possible, to avoid texting or talking while driving. If you must use your cell phone for GPS, connect it through a Bluetooth device and place it where you don’t have to take your eyes off the road to look at it when you need to turn.

Teen drivers

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), almost 3,000 teens are killed in auto accidents each year. More than 300,000 are treated in emergency departments after suffering injuries in automobile accidents. This is because teens are more likely to underestimate or not recognize when a situation is dangerous.

Teens also tend to make more errors than adults behind the wheel that may lead to an accident. Teen passengers are less likely to wear a seatbelt with one 2017 study finding that only 58.8 percent of teens put on a seatbelt when riding with a friend. Teens are also more likely to:

  • Drive after drinking
  • Drive at night or on the weekend
  • Drive recklessly
  • Drive while drowsy or fatigued
  • Get distracted
  • Ride with someone who has been drinking
  • Speed
  • Text and drive

Failure to see pedestrians or bicyclists

There are more people trying to live healthier lifestyles today and they may be doing so by riding bicycles, running or walking. This is especially true in urban areas and around parks. When driving in these areas, be on the lookout for bicycle riders, pedestrians who may be on the side of the road, and trails that lead from wooded areas.

By avoiding taking actions that can lead to fatalities on the road, we can all do our part to reduce the number of deaths from vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to persuade all drivers to drive safely. Accidents can and will still happen, so remember to stay vigilant on the road.