It isn’t news that statistics record more and more car accidents as the years pass. However, what is really worrying about this number is the percentage of car crashes that have turned out to be fatal for at least one of the drivers, passengers, or pedestrians involved in the incident. It can be easily argued that statistics will naturally show an annual increase in the number of car accidents as there are more and more people obtaining their driver’s license each day. Nevertheless, what is the cause of so many deaths and fatal crashes in 2020?
Most Common Causes of Fatal Car Accidents
A car accident can occur due to a considerable number of reasons, however, some of them have been standing out for quite some time now. The year 2020 has really shocked in statistics, although most would’ve imagined that the global COVID-19 pandemic would contribute to lowering the number of car crashes recorded. Here are some of the most common causes of fatal car accidents:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics;
- Failure to use the seatbelt;
- Driving a perilous vehicle;
- Driving during extreme weather conditions;
Driving Under The Influence
It is widely agreed that driving under the influence is one of the biggest mistakes a driver can make. If alcohol or other substances are involved in a scenario of a fatal car crash, liability will automatically target the vehicle operator under the influence. One of the most vital steps in being a responsible driver is having all your senses intact at all times. According to sciencedaily.com, a new study shows that 15% of car accident fatalities in the U.S were caused by drivers who have been drinking below the legal limit. Moreover, 55% of these cases recorded the death of other individuals, rather than the intoxicated vehicle operator. Statistics on youth fatalities is one of the most concerning aspects of the study.
Failure to Use The Seatbelt
Despite having endless examples of how a seatbelt can save a life, some drivers still neglect its use. Another common mistake is not asking the other passengers in a vehicle to wear it. When a serious car accident occurs, the laws of physics apply the same shock and momentum to all passengers inside the vehicle. Moreover, although some drivers live under the misconception that pregnant women shouldn’t be using a seatbelt, The National Traffic Safety Administration teaches that all pregnant passengers should always have the seatbelt on when traveling by car. In 2017 only, 14,955 lives were saved by the seatbelt.
Driving a Perilous Vehicle
When it comes to periodical vehicle inspections, each state government imposes a different set of laws. For example, California only requires not safety inspections, but only a VIN verification. Although some states imply rules may be relatively loose when it comes to inspecting a vehicle, it is a driver’s moral responsibility to make sure that its vehicle is safe to go out on the road.
Two of the most important aspects to look at periodically are the brakes and tires. When it comes to automatic cars especially, brakes will wear down faster than those on manual transmission vehicles. Nevertheless, tires are the only point of contact between the vehicle and the ground. It is important that every driver replaces all tires with new ones after a maximum of 10 years of use, or much earlier, depending on how much they have been solicited.
Driving During Extreme Weather Conditions
Besides having to pay extra attention when driving under extreme weather conditions, drivers should always follow the general rules imposed by the U.S Traffic Law. Here are the most important things to keep in mind when the weather is not on your side:
- Turn on your headlights;
- Do not flash at other drivers;
- Reduce speed;
- Turn off cruise control;
- Make sure your wipers are functional;
- Avoid flooded areas.
More Fatalities Recorded During The Pandemic
Although it may be surprising, the increasing number of car accident fatalities reports during the COVID-19 pandemic has quite a good explanation at its core. Drivers that were caught under the influence of alcohol and narcotics constitute one of the main reasons behind this trend. Given that fewer vehicles are out on the road, it may appear that there also fewer chances to get caught. Also, wearing a protective mask may naturally leave the impression that some of the behavioral aspects of a person under the influence can now be hidden more easily.
Despite traffic accident statistics showing that 2020 reported more deaths per miles traveled than 2019, the overall number of deaths has decreased. According to caranddriver.com, “The number of people who have died in motor vehicle traffic crashes was down from 16,988 in 2019 to 16,650 in 2020, a decrease of 2 percent.”. As for a piece of final advice, keep in mind that a driver should always be safe, no matter what the pandemic may bring to the overall driving mentality during these times. If involved in a car accident, it’s always good to seek the legal advice of a lawyer.