If Cars Are Getting Safer, Then Why Do Fatalities Continue To Rise?

Each year, car manufacturers release their latest and greatest designs to the public, highlighting accolades and features such as “the highest safety rating” or “new blind spot technology”. These improvements are what keep customers coming back to dealerships year after year. Our country has come a long way in terms of vehicle safety, and cars only continue to improve. Despite this, car related fatalities continue to rise. As of 2021, there were 10.5% more fatalities than in 2020, the highest rate of increase since 2005. Unfortunately, this trend has only continued into this year.

The purpose of this article is to explore why this is the case. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, please do not hesitate to contact our world class personal injury lawyers at (719)-633-2222.

Changes to Our Vehicles

Our vehicles have undergone many changes over the past century. One of the major factors contributing to the rising death rate is the ever increasing weight of vehicles. In auto accidents, heavier vehicles are far more likely to kill pedestrians and cause significant damage. This weight increase goes hand in hand with the increasing size of our vehicles today, which are physically larger than at any other point in history. As a result, drivers of these vehicles have larger blind spots and cannot see their immediate surroundings. A study by the Institute for Highway Safety found that pickups, SUVs, vans, and minivans are far more likely to hit pedestrians than smaller vehicles.

Changing Driver Behavior 

A change in driver behavior is also contributing to the trends we have seen. During the pandemic, Americans drove less than ever, but as restrictions eased, more people began to hit the roads. One year after the lockdown, car related fatalities were way up. Experts attribute this to drivers being more reckless and careless on the road. Unfortunately, this trend has continued into 2022. To help reverse recent trends, experts recommend a standardization of automotive safety technologies as well as actions like lowering speed limits and improving the infrastructure of our urban centers. 

The Infrastructure of American Cities

The infrastructure of most American cities is designed to accommodate cars rather than people. Consequently, this makes urban areas especially hostile to those who walk, bike, or use other forms of transportation. In many parts of the country, this problem has been acknowledged, and cities are seeking ways of encouraging drivers to exercise greater caution. In order to achieve this we need to revamp and reimagine our infrastructure. There are many solutions available, such as installing speed bumps, narrowing vehicle lanes, lowering speed limits, and improving infrastructure to put people first. In order to create a safer environment for future generations, we must continue to address issues with our cities, roads, and cars.

We Can Help

Please contact our car accident lawyers if you have been injured in an accident. Our attorneys have provided assistance to hundreds of car accident victims. For more information, please call us at (719)-633-2222.