Countless campaigns have highlighted the dangers of distracted and drunk driving. Yet, year after year, more motor vehicle operators, bicyclists, and pedestrians lose their lives due to tragic negligence. Lives are forever changed for the driver who caused the accident and the loved ones forced to endure the aftermath.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s release of their latest annual study – from 2021, when COVID-19 continued its spread – paints yet another grim picture of tragedy, with all accidents skyrocketing 16 percent:
- Just short of 43,000 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents, representing an increase of ten percent
- Survivable injuries jumped close to ten percent in every category
- Distracted driving led to more than 3,500 deaths, a 12 percent growth from the prior year.
- Thirty-one percent of fatalities involved alcohol use
- Speeding deaths grew by nearly eight percent
- Lack of seatbelt use accounted for 8.1 percent of road fatalities
Bigger may not be better
Also growing is United States drivers purchasing larger trucks and SUVs, operating under the assumption that these types of transports are safer. However, those choices have not moved the needle when it comes to catastrophic collisions that end lives. All kinds of these vehicles saw increases and include:
- SUV deaths grew by 16 percent
- Pickup fatalities were just short of 10 percent
- Fatal accidents in sedans and coupes rose 7.1 percent
- Deaths in vans increased by 15 percent
Regardless of their choice of vehicles, the prognosis is grim when it comes to the health of drivers. Last year saw the pandemic come to an end. What likely remained were motor vehicle operators who couldn’t break habits and caused serious and fatal motor vehicle accidents.