Do you feel like you are spending more time in your car and noticing more car accidents than ever before? Well, your perception is correct. An increase in jobs and a decrease in gasoline prices over the past two years has led to the highest number of clogged roads and deadly crashes the U.S. has seen in very long time.
Americans spend over 6.9 billion hours a year in traffic delays. Cities that have experienced strong economic growth recently have some of the worst congestion on the roads. This is not exclusive to rush hour traffic either. Studies show around 40% of delays actually happen in the middle of the day and during the overnight. Making congestion even more difficult in major cities are trucks, which make up about 18% of congestion in those areas.
More vehicles on roads mean more car accidents as well. A National Safety Council report estimates an 8% increase in traffic fatalities from 2014 to 2015. That is the largest jump in 50 years and the deadliest year for motorists in seven years. City streets and highways may see the most traffic, but almost half of the increase can be attributed to car accidents on rural roads. While Texas saw the greatest number of road and highway fatalities in 2015, the states with the largest increase of deaths were Vermont, Oregon, New Hampshire, Georgia, and Washington.
Perhaps a more frightening statistic is that drivers themselves do not consider themselves part of the problem. Michelin North America asked Americans about the behavior of others on the road and their own performance behind the wheel. Over 65% did not feel safe when someone else is in the driver’s seat and acknowledged they witnessed other drivers practicing unsafe driving habits on a daily basis. However, when questioned about their own skill, 81% of those same drivers were extremely confident in their own ability.
With the way traffic congestion and car accidents are increasing, it is more important than ever to be safe on the road. Motorists are encouraged to use their defensive driving skills to hopefully slow down this alarming trend. If you or your family have been injured in a car accident, it can be difficult to bounce back. Contact the experienced attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., to help guide you through the legal process and help recover the damages you deserve.