When heading out on the road in New Jersey and across the Tri-State area, there is always a chance for an auto accident. These collisions happen for myriad reasons, but there are some catalysts that are more common than others. Researchers conduct surveys and assess statistics to determine how and why they happen to forge solutions and reduce their frequency. Still, this is an ongoing problem and people need to be prepared with vigilance and caution. After an accident, it is imperative to know the available options for challenges that will arise.
AAA survey shows drivers may be behaving more responsibly
A recently released survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that drivers are taking safety more seriously. When looking at the results, it is important to remember that the survey was conducted in 2020 when people were still largely working from home, schools were using remote learning and many activities were drastically reduced because of the ongoing health situation. Drivers were asked about risky activities they might have indulged in during the previous 30 days. The number of drivers who admitted to running a red light reduced by 18.5% vs. the number who admitted as such in 2019. Those who confessed to using a handheld device while driving dropped by nearly 29%. Drivers who admitted to getting behind the wheel while they were drowsy dropped by 36%.
This is notable because these issues are viewed as some of the main causes of auto accidents. In 2020, there was a major spike in speeding. This is believed to have been due to empty roadways and lax law enforcement. Fewer people were driving making the number of deaths troublesome. People were asked whether loved ones would approve of their behaviors behind the wheel and it was almost a universal “no” with more than 95% saying this was the case. It is notable that people – at least according to the self-reported data – had been adhering to safer road practices. Despite that, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said that more than 38,000 people lost their lives in an auto accident in 2020. This was more than 7% higher than in 2019 and the most deaths in 13 years.
First six months of 2021 had highest number of road deaths in 15 years
To exacerbate these concerns, 2021 had the most road fatalities in the first six months of the year since 2006. Overall, there were 20,160 such deaths. This is believed to be due to people continuing the trend from 2020 and driving recklessly. The first half of 2021 saw a spike of 18.4% from the first half of 2020. This was the worst six month increase since fatal accidents were tracked starting in 1975. The rise in deaths in 2021 happened just as life was returning to some semblance of normalcy with vehicle miles traveled in the first half of the year growing by 173.1 billion – approximately 13% – from the year before. Like 2020, drivers are being encouraged to take safety precautions. Unfortunately, with the numbers still rising, it is obviously a continuing challenge with no end in sight.
The current landscape shows auto accidents are still on the rise
Motor vehicle accidents are a common way for people to be injured and lose their lives. As this research from 2020 and 2021 shows, there are a litany of factors that must be considered in how the collision happened. Regardless of its cause, people can face a host of long-term problems if they are in a crash. This includes personally, professionally and financially. Any kind of accident can cause injuries and death. With that, people who were involved and suffered issues in the aftermath should be cognizant of their rights. Assessing the entire case is essential when determining a course of action. Having professional guidance is crucial and should be known from the start to have a good chance at a full recovery in all aspects.