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The effect of economic recession and recovery on driving fatalities in 2016

During the Great Recession and economic recovery, great improvements were made when it came to keeping roads and citizens safe from driving fatalities. However, per the National Safety Council, the number of traffic-related deaths hit 40,200 in 2016, which is up 6 percent from 37,757 in 2015. This is the highest number for a single year in almost the last decade. Before 2016, the highest number of fatalities hit was 41,000 in 2007.

What are the reasons behind the jump?

Just last year, Americans increased their total driving miles by more than three percent, which could be a strong factor regarding why fatality numbers were up. Americans may be driving more as the economy improves and gasoline prices drop.

Another big factor in the increase in fatalities is the country’s obsession with being connected always through electronic devices. As drivers have a hard time putting their phones down and focusing on the road, the result is more accidents and more fatalities. Distracted driving is a big concern in all states when it comes to improving safety on the roads.

As the economy has slowly improved, drivers are also spending more time on lengthy road trips and driving on the weekends, behaviors that may be more risky. During the economic recession, many teens could not afford to drive, but as the economy bounces back, they are hitting the road again in droves.

Other expected factors and risky behaviors come into play when it comes to traffic-related fatalities. Drivers that speed or drink before getting behind the wheel are particularly dangerous to others on the road. Those who do not wear seatbelts also increase their risks of being seriously injured in even a small vehicle accident.

Fatalities becoming commonplace

Despite the efforts of government, law enforcement and other organizations tasked with keeping the roads safe, many Americans see traffic fatalities as commonplace and just what happens when the roads are used. As drivers are desensitized to the deaths they hear about regularly, they may be less likely to engage in safe driving practices on their own, feeling as if there is nothing they can do to stop the problem.

Your injuries should be treated seriously

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident because another driver was careless, you may deserve compensation to help pay for your medical care, property replacement and even emotional trauma you suffer. We encourage you to speak to an attorney if you have questions about taking your accident to an insurance company.

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