Car accident fatalities were a major issue in the 1970s, leading to changes in safety standards. Additionally, safety technology for vehicles has developed significantly over the last 50 years. As a result, the general trend in fatal accidents since that time has been a decline. There have been short-term increases, but there tend to be fewer fatalities every year.
However, this seems to have changed in recent years. For the past three years now, there have been more fatalities. For instance, if you compare the number of fatalities in 2019 to the mileage death rate in 2022, there’s been an increase of around 22%.
That’s a massive jump that shows the roads are far more dangerous. This is especially true because there were lower traffic levels in the last few years, but there has been an increase in fatalities anyway. That makes the mileage death rate (MDR) astronomically high. The MDR is the number of fatalities per 100 million miles driven.
What can be done?
Part of the problem is that researchers haven’t identified a specific root cause. If anything, they have suggested that maybe lower traffic levels have caused an increase in speeding, which can lead to more fatal accidents.
On the whole, they usually note things like distracted driving or drunk driving as major reasons for this increase in fatalities. Those things certainly may be part of the problem and need to be addressed, but they are also not new.
Unfortunately, you always face risks from the drivers around you. If you’ve been seriously injured, or if a loved one has passed away, be sure you know about your legal options.