The last year has been difficult for several reasons. People battled isolation, job losses and health risks that most of us had never experienced before. On top of these unprecedented challenges, unfortunately, people were also dealing with more familiar situations that make life challenging.
For instance, over the last year, people continued to lose loved ones in car accidents. In fact, the rate of fatal accidents increased by 7 percent.
Reasons behind the increase
It would make sense to expect traffic accidents to drop during a year when so many folks were working from home and unable to spend time out at restaurants, grocery stores and events.
However, the opposite happened. Last year saw the highest number of fatal crashes since 2007. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 38,700 people died in crashes, which officials say resulted from a few factors. They cite the following behaviors as contributors to the increased rate of fatal accidents:
- Drivers taking more risks, like speeding, on less congested roads and highways
- Failing to wear a seat belt
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
These actions increased the risk of catastrophic accidents during a time when people drove fewer miles than average.
Other telling trends from last year
The NHTSA report also found that motorcycle and bicycle accidents increased as well. This could be due to people having more time and motivation to get outside.
Not all the news was negative, though. Statistics show that large truck accidents and crashes involving drivers over 65 decreased last year.
From this information, we can glean that while there were fewer cars on the road, those who were on the road may have been taking more risks than they would in other years.
Focusing on recovery
There is a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of the pandemic and economic hardships. However, that light may be hard to see for people who have lost their loved ones in a fatal accident recently.
Thus, now can be a good time to examine your legal rights and the financial remedies that may be available to you. Doing so cannot undo the past, but it can make it easier to focus on the future.