Over the past 40 years or so, the number of fatal car accidents has gradually decreased across the United States. It was decreasing, that is, until now.
According to Status Report, the journal of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute, the first six months of 2015 saw far more crash-related deaths than expected. In fact, the number of fatalities went up 8 percent during those months.
As More People Gain Jobs, More Accidents Occur
So what triggered this recent rise in fatal car crashes? Surprisingly, we may be able to blame it partly on the stronger economy. The data shows that economic recessions tend to go hand in hand with dramatic drops in car crashes. The opposite is also true. As more and more unemployed individuals gain jobs, the number of traffic accidents also tends to increase.
In some ways, the cause and effect is obvious. More people gaining jobs means more people driving to and from work each day.
However, employees commuting to work is only part of it. The data also suggests that as the economy improves, people have more money to spend on luxuries. Therefore they are more likely to take road-trip vacations, drive to a restaurant or otherwise spend money on gasoline. Driving on vacation may also be riskier than some other types of driving due to the many distractions and the long hours behind the wheel.
Understand Your Options, Just In Case The Worst Happens To You
As the accident totals rise in West Virginia and across the country, it’s wise to be prepared. Do you know what to do after a car accident? What happens if a loved one is killed? Do you have a personal injury attorney you can call to answer your questions and help you seek compensation?
Taking a moment to think about these questions ahead of time may spare you confusion and frustration later.