Overall, the safety and capabilities of vehicles is better than ever. Thanks to technology, cars and trucks are smarter, more responsible and capable of warning drivers of hazards. Despite these new features, the numbers of serious and fatal car accidents continue to rise. There are many factors that may contribute to these statistics, but the primary factor is driver behavior. While you are behind the wheel, you could be a victim of the reckless or negligent actions of another Arizona driver.
The number of motor vehicle accident fatalities across the United States continues to rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that approximately 13 car accidents happen every minute. Car accidents can be physically, emotionally and financially costly, with these events costing the U.S. economy more than $450 billion each year. If you are paying the price for the decisions of another driver, it will be in your interests to learn about the options available to you.
Factors that contribute to crashes
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 40,000 vehicle fatalities occurred in 2021. This was more than 10% higher than the year before in 2020, when fewer drivers were on the road. Many of these fatalities are the result of reckless and negligent behaviors that are unnecessary and preventable, including:
- Drunk driving — Estimates suggest that someone dies in an alcohol-related crash every 30 minutes, resulting in 17,000 fatalities each year.
- Distracted driving — Everything from phone use to in-car infotainment systems can cause dangerous levels of distraction. In 2020, distraction was a factor in 6% of all fatal crashes.
- Speeding — Driving over the posted speed limit increases the chance of a fatal accident by reducing the effectiveness of safety equipment and increasing the severity of any damage caused.
- Drowsy driving — Tired drivers are more likely to cause accidents as they are less capable of focusing or maintaining control of the vehicle. Drowsiness accounts for 2% of all fatal accidents each year.
If you are the victim of an accident caused by another driver, or you are grieving the loss of a loved one after a crash, you are not alone. You may have grounds to pursue compensation through the civil justice system, an option that provides you with the chance to secure coverage of your losses and of any non-economic damages you experienced as a result of the accident.