Examining Why Car Accidents Are on the Rise
Deaths due to an automobile accident have continued to rise in the past couple of years. 2016 is said to have one of the highest amounts of car accident-related fatalities ever recorded. In the last two years, there has been a 14% increase of reported deaths due to traffic accidents.
It doesn’t look like those numbers are going to fall anytime soon.
In fact, chances are that the rise in those numbers will only continue to grow.
In this day and age, it’s hard to believe that accidents like this happen so much more than they used to. With new safety technology being added to all kinds of automobiles every year, how is it possible that more people are dying to these kinds of accidents than ever before?
I’ll be taking a more in-depth look at these reasons below.
Louisiana Automobile Accident Breakdown
A Worldwide Epidemic
There have been warning signs in the years leading up to this large increase. Deaths amongst pedestrians and car passengers alike have slowly gone up, ultimately leading to the largest amount of reported automobile accident deaths in 2016.
It’s not just in America where this is happening. It’s a problem that affects the entire world. Britain, for example, has also seen a rise in car accident fatalities. We’ve seen these numbers go up even as far as Australia. It seems to be a trend that isn’t showing any signs of going away.
With this being such a widespread problem, it’s important to take a look into the details of why this is happening, and how we, as a people, can take steps to bring this rising number back down again.
Being distracted is perhaps the largest cause of an automobile accident. It’s easy to think of the biggest culprits being those who run through a red light or never stop at a stop sign.
However, it has been found that distractions are far worse.
More people are using their mobile devices while driving. Regardless of any laws against their use behind the wheel of a vehicle, the population as a whole still tend to take out their favorite mobile device and attempt to use it while on the road. I challenge you to look at the people you pass on a daily basis and make a note of how many of them are looking at their phones instead of the road.
Music is another distraction, as much as we may love to have it going while driving. Especially for those who are typically more inclined to start moving their body to the beat of the music, or play the music very loudly.
Another kind of distraction can come from children or pets who are not well-behaved in a vehicle. It’s important to make sure children are belted in and have proper entertainment to leave the adults free to drive safely. Animals should always be in a carrier cage no matter what.
As hard as it may be, it is always better to set aside a mobile device until you have reached your destination.
Technology’s False Safety-Net
From auto-brake systems to computerized warning alarms, cars are now being equipped with the latest and greatest safety technology. More ways to keep cars and their drivers safe are being invented right now, and it is only a matter of time before they’ll be implemented too.
Where once these enhancements were only installed in the most expensive cars, these days they are becoming more and more affordable for the everyday person.
Which sounds like it should be a good thing.
It is. But only to an extent.
These kinds of technology are an asset to anyone trying to avoid an automobile accident. They can aid you in avoiding collisions with another car or with a building. They help in parking in tight spots or aim your headlights around a curve so that you can always see ahead of you.
However, they can lure you into a false sense of security as well. With their help, it’s easy to slip into a mindset where you feel safer. Which leads a driver to become a little laxer in their awareness. After all, the computer watches out for you, so you can afford to relax a little.
It’s this kind of thinking that makes these technological advances even more dangerous. It becomes so easy to rely on your car’s systems to keep aware and know the rules. But technology can only go so far.
At the end of the day, humans still have to command the machines. That is even truer when it comes to driving safely.
Never allow yourself to rely too heavily on the gadgets your car is installed with. It’s best to use it as a tool, not a crutch.
Lowered Gas Prices
As we see the economy slowly getting better each year, we also see “automobile accident” rise up on the charts. The lower gas prices drop, the more automobiles there are on the road.
This is because as people are able to recover their budgets, they can afford more gasoline than they have been in the past years.
With more people on the road, the chances of an automobile accident happening go up exponentially.
Although the age limit to own a license hasn’t changed, new drivers have better access to vehicles than ever before. It is incredibly common for a family to have at least two, if not more, cars per household.
When the young drivers of a family get to be of age, they won’t have to wait to get in and drive around. This leads to even more newly licensed drivers presenting a risk on the road.
Younger drivers are inexperienced and don’t have the instincts that more accomplished drivers do. This, added to the fact that their families have more cars lying around waiting to be used, has made accidents in their age group grow.
There has been a definite correlation between states with recreational marijuana and the number of automobile accidents. With the legality of recreational drug use continuing to gain momentum, this number could potentially continue to only grow larger.
Prescription drugs also pose a problem. There have been many reports of the opioid problem sweeping the nation, and it bares its claws on the road as well. When people are taking drugs of any kind that messes with their brain function, it’s only a matter of time before an accident occurs.
People are working a lot more these days than they used to. Late hours lead to fewer hours spent sleeping. This, however, is not a good thing when it comes to thinking clearly and driving safely.
It is said that for every hour of sleep that you miss, the chance for an automobile accident steeply increases. This important factor is something that most people don’t even think of. Not getting a full good night’s sleep is detrimental to the way a person can react and think on the road.
Most people don’t think of this important fact when they get up in the morning to go to work and drive with less than seven hours of sleep. It leads to dangerous situations for everyone involved.
Pedestrians and Cyclists
While not as true in Louisiana, the awareness of global warming is reaching further in the world, and we see more people walking or taking a bike to get where they need to go instead of going by car.
This wouldn’t necessarily be a problem on its own. It all comes back to the first problem: distractions.
Unfortunately, it isn’t just the drivers who need to be aware that distractions are bad for their safety on the road. Both pedestrians and cyclists alike have to keep in mind that having their music up far too loud can cause them to accidentally step in front of a car. Or perhaps being engrossed in their mobile phone will cause an automobile accident.
It’s a relationship that goes hand-in-hand. Both drivers and pedestrians have to learn to work together and to be aware of each other to make certain that this rise of accidents can begin to decline.
Luckily, there are things we all can do to make it less likely that an automobile accident will occur.
Proper Seatbelt Use
It has been said many times in the past and will continue to be spoken of in the future. Seatbelts are important to the safety of both driver and passenger, and all it takes is a couple of seconds for you to snap it into place.
Make sure everyone is properly buckled up before starting the engine, even if you are only going for a five-minute ride. It’s better to be overly safe.
Driving without any distractions is key to safe vehicle usage. Keep your mobile devices stashed away until you have finished driving. It’s better to have no music going at or if you must have some music to feel comfortable, make sure it is low enough that you can still properly hear the audible clues of traffic around your car.
Take a good look at everything in your car before you begin driving. If there’s even a chance that you’ll become distracted by it in some way, make adjustments so that those distractions are no longer there, or are at least diminished as much as possible.
Especially before going for a long bout of driving. It’s never a good idea to drive while feeling tired, but it is extra important if you plan to spend a lot of time on the road.
If you begin to feel sleepy while driving, pull over to a rest stop or some other safe resting place and take a nap. You don’t want your judgment impaired by something you can easily fix.
Know the places that are most difficult to see as you drive, and make sure to adjust yourself to compensate for them. If you can’t see, turn until you can. Just a few extra seconds of looking can be the difference between a safe trip and an automobile accident.
Obey Speed Limits
This perhaps is the easiest one to know on your own, but it is still often overlooked. Despite knowing that they should follow the marked speed limit, far too many people feel that it is okay to go faster. Even a little faster can increase the risk of an accident occurring.
It can be tempting to go just five miles faster than the speed limit. It’s best to refrain from such actions, however. Those speed limits have been put in place after a lot of research and study and are there to make sure both drivers and pedestrians can remain as safe as possible.
You might end up at your destination a few minutes later by obeying the speed limit, but you’ll also arrive there much more safely, too.
We all learn the rules when we are working to get our licenses but the years after can make all of those rules dwindle away until we may even forget some of them entirely.
Take some time to routinely update your knowledge of all the rules and regulations that go hand-in-hand with driving safely.
This includes knowing things like how slow to drive during bad weather or when to have your headlights engaged.
Accidents Can Still Happen
Even with all of this knowledge, even if we are incredibly careful with every decision and move we make while driving. Accidents are called accidents for a reason.
The fact of the matter is that even the most diligent of drivers will eventually find themselves in an automobile accident.
When it happens, try to remain calm.
Then, run through a checklist to get all of the proper and potentially important information that could help you in the future. Things like taking down license plates of all cars involved, get the phone numbers of anyone, write down all damages done to your car, and so forth.
If injuries are involved, you may need to get a lawyer. In this case, you’ll have to get into contact with a personal injury firm (looks like you’ve already found a great one) and start working with them.
We will work with you to make sure that you get through the entire ordeal with your best interests at heart.
When dealing with something as stressful and overwhelming as a car accident, it can be comforting to have someone to talk to who knows how to proceed and only wants to help you.
If you’ve been injured, Stephen Babcock of Babcock Partners is standing by to help you.
Your case — and your future will be our top priority. When we meet with you, we will review your case with you for free and after you hire us you will have Stephen’s 100% Client Satisfaction Guarantee.
Contact us today.
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