The title to this post is not an exaggeration, a half-truth or an outright lie. Your eyes are not deceiving you. Though it is hard to believe, more people living in the United States perished in auto accidents since the turn of the millennium than the number of Americans who perished in both World Wars combined. If you drive to work or catch a ride with a coworker, this statistic should give you pause. The question begs: how do we make our roads safer? Unfortunately, there is not a clear answer to this question.
The Many Causes of Traffic Fatalities
The vast majority of deadly wrecks are the result of blatant driver negligence. Negligence is a legal term used to refer to an individual or institution’s failure to provide due care to others. From distracted driving to drunk driving and speeding, there are an array of causes for traffic fatalities. However, there is not exactly a societal outrage at the shocking statistic noted above.
It is awfully interesting to note the opioid crisis caused the deaths of about 100,000 Americans from ’06 to ’12. In this same period of time, nearly double the number of people perished as a result of distracted driving, drunk driving and speeding. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94% of all auto accidents are the result of human error. This is precisely why industry insiders insist autonomous vehicles are the wave of the future.
The Numbers are Grim
All in all, in excess of 624,000 United States residents perished in auto accidents since January of 2000. In comparison 535,000 American military members perished in World War I and World War II combined. If this statistic does not shock you, consider the fact that 30 million individuals were injured in auto accidents between January of 2000 and 2017.
Sadly, 213,000 of the deadly crashes in the time period noted above involved a driver who was above the legal limit for blood-alcohol content while driving. Nearly 200,000 people perished due to speeding between ’00 and ’17. A study conducted by the NHTSA and the American Public Health Association reports distracted driving has caused the deaths of 78,000 individuals in this same period of time. It is quite concerning to learn nearly 500,000 people are using their smartphones while behind the wheel during daylight hours alone.
“It Can’t Happen to Me”
It is becoming increasingly clear people far and wide assume traffic fatalities are the result of bad luck or human err that happens to others. In reality, we are all at the mercy of one another. The failure to pay attention to the road or drive sober really can take one or several innocent lives. However, plenty of people are still willing to drive while distracted, buzzed or slightly inebriated.
If you are hesitant to believe the statistics detailed above or are unconcerned about your safety on the road, perform a brief experiment the next time you are near a busy intersection. Pull over to a parking space and walk to the intersection. Stand at the intersection for five minutes. Count the number of drivers who pass by who are either distracted or driving in an otherwise unsafe manner. You will likely be shocked at the results. The sad truth is people are more than willing to run the risk of an auto accident in order to send a quick text, read social media, check their work email or change the radio station.
Injured in an Auto Accident? Contact our Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you are injured in an auto accident, contact our legal team right away. Even if you were partially at fault for the accident it still might be possible to obtain compensation. Let us spearhead your quest for compensation and we will do everything in our power to return your life to normal after this unfortunate event.