U.S. Traffic Fatality Rate Soars

Flowers are taped against a light standard by the side of a busy street following a fatal auto accident serving as a reminder for all of us to

In the early 20th century, the automobile industry witnessed a significant shift towards enhanced safety measures, resulting in a substantial decline in road fatalities. However, the United States is now grappling with a disturbing trend – a surge in traffic-related deaths, a stark departure from the progress made over the last century.

Around a decade ago, the trajectory of diminishing fatalities took an unexpected turn in the United States. While other high-income countries continued to make strides in reducing vehicle crashes, America witnessed an upward trend in its death toll. If the U.S. had matched the progress of its counterparts, approximately 25,000 lives could have been spared annually.

A recent investigation sheds light on one facet of this puzzling phenomenon: a surge in pedestrian deaths, particularly at night. The perplexing nature of this rise led to a deeper exploration, and one significant variable emerged – the presence of smartphones.

The advent of smartphones, particularly in the last 15 years, has transformed how people interact with the world, and unfortunately, it has coincided with the surge in pedestrian fatalities. Unlike other countries, American drivers seem uniquely tethered to their phones while behind the wheel, with surveys indicating a higher incidence of phone use while driving compared to global counterparts.

This addiction to smartphones is not the sole culprit, though. The spread of legal marijuana and the rise in opioid addiction also factor into the equation. A federal study revealed that half of the drivers involved in serious accidents tested positive for at least one active drug. Additionally, the growth of the population in areas lacking proper infrastructure exacerbates the problem, along with the recent increase in homelessness.

While some challenges pose complex hurdles, others have clear-cut solutions that state and local governments have yet to implement. Building safe sidewalks, a proven European strategy remains a cost-effective solution. Using traffic cameras to identify and penalize texting drivers is another straightforward measure that could be enforced.

Regrettably, the U.S. has chosen to accept a vehicle death rate significantly higher than its peer countries. The toll on human lives is immeasurable, with recent incidents underscoring the severity of the issue. As the nation mourns the loss of individuals like Marie Jean-Charles, a 74-year-old cashier who lost her life trying to cross the street, it becomes evident that urgent action is required to reverse this alarming trend and make U.S. roads safer for all.

If a negligent driver has injured you or someone you know, please call us for a free consultation to find out how we can help. McCraw Law Group is committed to helping our clients pick up the pieces after a wrongful accident. Our compassionate team will help you through this.

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