Each year, car manufacturers showcase their newest designs and boast about their latest and greatest accolades and features. Dealerships rely on skillful marketing to keep consumers buying their latest models. As far as vehicle safety is concerned in the United States, cars have come a long way, and they only continue to improve. Despite the improved safety features, car fatalities continue to rise. From 2020 to 2021, there was an increase of 10.5% in the number of fatalities, the highest rate of change since 2005. This article examines the underlying reasons.
Our Vehicles: What’s Changed?
Vehicles and the technology within them have changed drastically over the past century. Of these changes, the weight of vehicles has been one of the most significant contributors to the increasing death rate. In auto accidents, heavier vehicles are more likely to kill pedestrians and cause greater damage. Not only are cars heavier than ever, but they are also larger. Due to this increase in size, drivers have more blind spots and rely heavily on technology to be alerted to hazards or people. The Institute for Highway Safety reports that larger vehicles, such as SUVs, pickup trucks, vans, and minivans, are much more likely to hit pedestrians than smaller vehicles.
Driver Behavior Has Worsened
In addition to changes in the size and weight of cars, changes in driver behavior also contributes to the death rate. During the pandemic, Americans were driving less than ever, but as restrictions eased, more and more people got back on the roads again. Fast forward to a year after lockdown and the fatality rate was significantly higher than years past. Experts found that this was due to an increase in reckless driving. This trend has unfortunately continued into 2022. In order to combat this, experts recommend standardizing car safety technologies, lowering speed limits in urban centers, and improving pedestrian infrastructure.
Car Focused Infrastructure
Most American cities are designed around cars, not people. As a result, urban areas are particularly difficult to navigate for those who walk, bike, or use other modes of transportation. Cities across the nation have recognized this problem and are working to raise driver awareness levels. By changing our infrastructure to be more centered on pedestrians, we can achieve this. Helpful changes include things like installing speed bumps, narrowing lanes, lowering speed limits, and improving public transportation. Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution to reducing vehicle-related fatalities, we need to continue addressing city, road, and car safety issues if we are to create a safer environment for future generations.
We Are Here to Help
In the event that you were injured in an accident as a driver, passenger, or a pedestrian, you should consult with one of our world-class car accident lawyers. We have helped hundreds of car accident victims with our Overland Park Car Accident Lawyers’ expertise. Please feel free to contact us by phone at (913)-839-2808.