Motor vehicle accident fatalities since the COVID-19 pandemic have skyrocketed across the country according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), with numbers particularly high in Alabama.
In 2021, 42,915 people died from motor vehicle wrecks nationwide, the most since 2005 and a notable 12% increase from 2020. Per capita, the number of fatalities increased a staggering 17.5% from 2019 to 2021.
The U.S. Department of Transportation deemed the rise in motor vehicle accident deaths a crisis that must be addressed, responding with instituting a “National Roadway Safety Strategy.”
The National Roadway Safety Strategy identified five areas that should be focused on to improve safety for various parties surrounding roadways.
- safer roads
- safer pedestrians
- safer vehicles
- safer speeds
- improved post-crash care
Alabama has been more prone to fatal accidents than nearly every other state. In 2018, there were 953 traffic-related fatalities in Alabama – 3rd-most per capita across the country.
“An increase in dangerous driving — speeding, distracted driving, drug- and alcohol-impaired driving, not buckling up — during the pandemic, combined with roads designed for speed instead of safety, has wiped out a decade and a half of progress in reducing traffic crashes, injuries and deaths,” said Russ Martin, senior director of policy and government relations for the Governors Highway Safety Association.
Cory Watson personal injury attorney Curt Tanner identified one major source of the upward trend – cellphones.
“Cellphones are a huge factor in the increase of motor vehicle-related fatalities,” Tanner said. “They can be a constant distraction sitting right beside you.”
Drive Safe Alabama notes that a texting driver is 23 times more likely to crash than a non-texting driver.
Additionally, most fatal car crashes occur at night. While it’s obviously unreasonable to suggest avoiding getting behind the wheel after the sun goes down, it’s crucial to be extra cautious and aware when operating your vehicle in the dark.
Other potentially lifesaving safe driving habits include simply fastening your seatbelt. In 2019, 57% of crash fatalities were not wearing a seatbelt.
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We know that even the most safety-conscious can get into serious accidents, so it’s vital to stay buckled up. If you or someone you love suffered an injury in a motor vehicle accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact the experienced car wreck lawyers at Cory Watson. Call 205-858-4734 today or complete this brief survey for your 100% free case review.