The roads in Alabama and across the United States might seem dangerous year-round regardless of the circumstances. However, there are times when the chance of an accident with injuries and fatalities statistically increases. In 2020, researchers found that there was a rise in such collisions despite fewer vehicles being on the road because of the ongoing societal situation that has altered the nation. In the first three months of 2021, that appears to have continued. Drivers and family members should be cognizant of the dangers they may face and know the steps available after a crash.
NHTSA early estimates show worrying fatality numbers
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), road fatalities in the first three months of the year spiked by more than 10% when compared to the same time-frame in 2020. It broke the rise in fatalities into regions and provided percentages of the increase in those areas. Region 10 with Washington State, Oregon, Montana, Idaho and Alaska had a 27% increase. Region 8 which includes Colorado, Wyoming and Utah had a 28% increase. Region 4 – in which Alabama is included – was at 18%.
The NHTSA estimates that there were 8,730 fatalities. The number of miles driven were far fewer than the year before due to people being forced to stay at home. This dropped the number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by more than 2%. There were 1.26 deaths per 100,000 VMT. In 2020, that was 1.12. Representatives from the NHTSA say steps should be taken to address the problem. That includes emphasizing driver safety and adapting infrastructure. Still, the biggest perceived problem is how drivers are acting behind the wheel. With fewer fellow drivers on the road and less law enforcement vigilance, drivers felt free to drive distracted, get behind the wheel under the influence, speed and behave recklessly. This is a significant factor in auto accidents.
Having help is key when dealing with the aftermath of an auto accident
As this information shows, the roads may be getting increasingly dangerous with more people in jeopardy of motor vehicle accidents. Injuries and losing loved ones can cause financial, emotional and personal challenges that must be addressed. From medical costs, lost income and the long-term impact, it is crucial to have assistance in determining how to proceed. After a crash, it is wise to have guidance with deciding on a path forward. Consulting with those experienced in auto accidents may be helpful.