Improvements in the U.S. economy and the growing job market may be contributing to the rising traffic fatality rate, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The data collected in the study shows a correlation between employment rates and traffic fatalities. In 2008, when unemployment rates were at the highest levels in decades, traffic fatalities reached the lowest level in over twenty years.
Researchers behind the study concluded that high unemployment rates, combined with high gas prices and loss of income, prevented most people from regularly traveling and commuting in a vehicle.
Traffic Study: Why We are Seeing an Increase in Traffic Fatalities
In 2015, there was a 7.2 percent increase in traffic fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) believes that this may have been due to an improved U.S. economy, lower gas prices, and a high growth in the national employment rate. As more people returned to work, the roads became busier.
Greater job opportunities also mean that the job market is expanding to include younger employees. Larger numbers of inexperienced and immature drivers, such as teenagers, are driving more frequently as they are having to commute for their jobs. Car accidents are the number one killer of teenagers.
The NHTSA released data earlier this month showing a 10 percent spike in traffic fatalities in the first half of 2016 compared to the same part of the year in 2015. While they acknowledge that the increasing number of drivers contributes to about half of the rising fatality rate, there are still many other factors that can be attributed.
Human error is one of the highest causes of fatal traffic accidents. Avoidable acts such as speeding, neglecting to wear a seatbelt, drunk driving, and drowsy driving are all considered to be dangerous impairments that are adding to the rising fatality rate.
While distracted driving may contribute to a high number of fatal accidents, the NHTSA is cautious in saying that drivers in recent years are more distracted than in the past.
Distractions like smartphone use among drivers are also a major threat to motorists, however, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety says that there is not enough evidence to make it the leading cause of increased traffic deaths.
The increasing rate of fatal car accidents in the U.S. is a national concern that affects us all. If you or a loved one has been involved in a fatal car accident, seeking legal help is the best option to recover the compensation you may be entitled to. The Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at Henness & Haight will provide you with a free consultation and review of your claim to see if you have a case that requires legal action.