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Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorneys > Blog > Auto Accidents > Why Driving is Getting More Dangerous

Why Driving is Getting More Dangerous

RoadRage

Despite efforts to make U.S. roads safer, we now find ourselves in the midst of a significant spike in traffic deaths. Having a thorough understanding of the dangers we face when using our nation’s roadways can go a long way towards helping motorists avoid deadly crashes.

Historical Spikes in Traffic Fatalities 

This is not the first time that U.S. drivers have seen an increase in traffic fatalities. The first of the last three major spikes occurred in the early 20th century, a trend that was largely attributed to the significant increase in unskilled drivers in urban areas. The second occurred in the 1960’s after the freeway system was unveiled and faster vehicles started to make their way onto the roads. From the 1970’s through the early 2000’s, traffic fatalities started to decline as vehicles became safer and accountability for dangerous driving, like DUIs became more severe.

Unfortunately, this decline stalled in 2011, leaving drivers in the third biggest spike in U.S. traffic deaths. In 2021 there were, for instance, approximately 401,540 car accidents in Florida that resulted in more than 250,000 injuries and 3,741 deaths. This represents a significant jump from 2011, when there were around 228,000 crashes, 195,000 injuries, and 2,444 deaths.

Vehicle Size, Speed, and Road Conditions 

Safety experts have posited a number of different theories for the recent marked spike in crashes in Florida and across the U.S. in general, one of which is the increasing size of the vehicles on our roads. SUVs and passenger trucks cause a lot more damage in the event of a crash and also allow for less visibility, which in turn makes crashes more likely. Vehicles have also gotten faster in the last decade, leading to more instances of speeding and reckless driving. Many experts also point to the nearly four million miles of roads in the U.S. that have been deemed in poor condition by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Problems like crumbling asphalt, potholes, and outdated design all contribute to thousands of accidents every year. Until these conditions are addressed, we can expect accidents to keep occurring at an unprecedented rate.

Driver Behaviors 

The increase in fatal accidents in the U.S. has also been attributed to changing driver behaviors. Driver frustration, for instance, seems to be on the rise, leading to more accidents caused by aggressive driving and road rage. Speeding, running red lights, driving while under the influence, failing to wear seat belts, and driving while distracted have all increased since 2011. Safety experts argue for traffic engineering solutions, like the addition of rumble strips, protected sidewalks, more bike lanes, additional roundabouts and speed bumps, and more stop lights. A reassessment of our own driving behaviors, however, is also critical to addressing this alarming trend.

Dedicated Florida Car Accident Lawyers 

Even the most conscientious of drivers could end up injured in an accident because of someone else’s reckless or negligent driving. If this happens to you, please contact the experienced and compassionate Florida car accident lawyers at Boone & Davis today. We are standing by and eager to get started on your case right away.

Sources:

 nytimes.com/2024/01/10/magazine/dangerous-driving.html

flhsmv.gov/pdf/crashreports/crash_facts_2021.pdf

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