Car Crash Statistics 2020

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( — July 6, 2020) — Ever since cars became a popular mode of transportation, car accidents inevitably followed. The advent of new technology and new rules of the road have helped to lower the risk factor of car accidents but they still take place despite those advancements. Car crash statistics are collected annually and they tend to waver at first, with crashes increasing one year and then falling the next. Fortunately, in the past few years car crashes and fatalities caused by car crashes have been decreasing. 

But while car crashes are going down, they have not been eliminated completely and likely never will be. However, as long as car accidents keep happening, there will be personal injury attorneys ready and willing to help drivers who need compensation to take care of any expenses caused by the accident. Those expenses include medical bills, repair bills, lost wages and more. So if you are ever unlucky enough to get into a car accident, make sure to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. 

Annual Car Crash Fatalities

Since 2020 is only half way over at the time of this writing, the most relevant statistics are for 2019, which ,encouragingly, had a decrease in traffic fatalities from the year prior. An estimated 38,000 people lost their lives in car crashes in 2019, which is 2% less than in 2018 and a 4% drop from 2017. Even though 38,000 is still a lot of people, the year to year drops are a good sign that shows car crashes are trending in the right direction, which is down. Some states, like New Hampshire and Vermont have even experienced a 30% drop in fatal car crashes, though some states like Maine and Wyoming have had an increase in traffic fatalities of over 30%. Still, the overall national average of car crashes has been going down. 

That downward trend can be attributed to a lot of different factors, one of which is the Vision Zero program that has been adopted by ten cities so far. The Vision Zero program is used to redesign areas that experience an unusually high number of car crashes to make them safer. Other safety measures that have made a difference include altering the behaviour of drivers by lowering the legal alcohol concentration limit. Utah has one of the lowest limits at 0.05% and other states may follow their example. That is because drunk driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents and anything that can be done to disencourage drivers from engaging in that behaviour will make the streets safer for everyone.

Advanced auto technology also plays a role since many modern vehicles have features like lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking, back up cameras, blind spot monitoring, and more, all of which help to keep drivers safe. There has also been legislation that punishes distracting habits like texting while driving. Overall, it has been a huge effort on the part of lawmakers, car manufacturers, and drivers that has helped to push down the number of traffic fatalities for two years straight.

Car Crashes in 2020 So Far

The coronavirus pandemic that has been sweeping across America and the rest of the world has forced people to stay inside in order to limit the spread of the disease. That means a lot less traffic than before, which you would think means fewer accidents but, surprisingly, that has not been the case. In fact, the number of car crashes per miles driven has increased in the first three months of 2020 even though the number of miles driven has decreased. 

The mostly empty roads may be a big contributor for the increased number of car crashes because some people use them to drive faster and more recklessly than they would in normal circumstances. Additionally some states have eased certain practices that would lead to safer driving, such as allowing teen drivers to acquire licences without having to pass road tests. Some states have also relaxed the rules that limit the hours of service for commercial vehicles, which can lead to fatigued drivers, and tired drivers are more likely to cause accidents. 

Even though the Covid-19 pandemic has forced everyone to alter their normal behaviour and routines, everyone should still practice safe driving procedures. Not only will they keep everyone safe now, they will keep everyone safe once the world eventually regains some semblance of normalcy.

Drive Safely In All Circumstances

The general downward trend in fatal car crashes is a good sign but it should not lead to complacency because road safety is always an ongoing concern. We can see that with the slight uptick in car accidents in the first few months of 2020. That means everyone should follow the rules of the road and engage in safe, responsible driving practices. 

Those practices can decrease the chance of your getting into a car crash and they will increase the chance that you will get the compensation you need if you do. That is because a car accident is unlikely to be your fault if you are a responsible driver; an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to prove that so that you do not have to pay out of pocket for any accident-related expenses.