Many are watching with eager curiosity as automotive technology evolves in the self-driving car industry. This futuristic step in highway safety is intended to remove the most common factor in motor vehicle accident fatalities: human error. In fact, 94 percent of all fatal traffic accidents are caused by a driver’s mistake. Although technology is moving closer to the goal of driverless cars, it seems as if highways are getting more dangerous instead of safer.
According to recently released statistics from the National Safety Council, over 19,000 people died in accidents on U.S. roads in the first six months of this year. In addition, over two million people were seriously injured. At this pace, more than 40,000 people could die in crashes before the year ends. Financially, the cost of these thousands of injuries and fatalities is already about $205 billion.
One reason why the number of serious accidents is climbing may be the improved economy. Historically, high gas prices, economic downturns and recessions kept Americans home. Consequently, highway fatalities dropped. When people have jobs and money to spend, they tend to be out on the highways, providing more opportunities for collisions. The Federal Highway Administration recently reported that, in the first six months of this year, Americans have driven a record breaking 1.58 trillion miles.
Law enforcement and safety advocates promote public awareness of such reckless behavior as distracted driving, drunk driving, fatigued driving and speeding. Nevertheless, some drivers persist, and often innocent people pay the price. Over the past six months, thousands of families across the country faced the devastating consequences of motor vehicle accidents. It is likely that many of them contacted a personal injury attorney for help in seeking compensation for their pain and suffering.