Car accidents have always been a primary cause of injury and death in the U.S. This is true despite federal, state and local governments spending extensively to create safer roadways. Regrettably, there is some evidence to suggest roads may be becoming even more dangerous.
According to reporting from Car and Driver, there were more traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2021 than in any year during the previous decade. This means you automatically may have a greater chance of dying or suffering catastrophic injuries every time you get behind the wheel of your car, truck or SUV.
Changing driving habits
In 2020, there were fewer drivers on the road as a greater number of Americans decided to work from home. When motorists returned to public roadways, though, many brought some changing driving habits with them. Specifically, the drivers you encounter may be more likely to engage in distracted driving, impaired driving, road rage or other inherently unsafe behaviors.
Missing the point
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has released some countermeasures to keep members of the driving public safe. Regrettably, many motorists seemingly are missing the point. That is, even though there have been wide-sweeping educational and enforcement campaigns across the U.S., there is little to suggest the message is getting through.
What about Washington State?
Unfortunately, Washington is no exception to this trend across the country. According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, Washington ended 2021 with 540 fatal crashes and an additional 2,411 crashes that resulted in serious injuries. Both numbers were the highest the state has seen since 2006. The involvement of alcohol, drugs and speed were all common contributing factors.
You obviously cannot change the way other drivers behave. You can, however, develop a safety strategy to implement every time you leave home. Simply by driving defensively, allowing some extra space on highways and roads and maintaining focus, you are likely to decrease your chances of having a life-changing motor vehicle accident.
Ultimately, though, if someone’s bad driving harms you, you may have sufficient grounds to pursue significant financial compensation for your injuries and other damages.