LONGVIEW, Texas. As we enter a new year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns that traffic fatalities in the first nine months of 2016 were 8 percent higher than the number of traffic fatalities recorded in the first nine months of 2015. According to CNN, the U.S. is seeing its largest growth in car wreck fatalities in 50 years. The numbers are so alarming that some have begun to call it America’s “car accident crisis.”
Drivers may also be at an increased risk of getting injured. Survivors of car accidents and their families often face immense challenges from paying medical expenses to managing lifestyle changes following an accident. Surviving an accident can sometimes be even more costly than a fatal accident because of the long-term care required for survivors and the impact this can have on families both emotionally and financially.
Texas car wreck lawyers see the immense affect accidents can have on victims and their families. The Cooper Law Firm helps many families navigate the challenges that follow an accident, including helping families seek recoveries for their losses from negligent parties and insurance companies. Of course, the best way to avoid the costs and impact of car accidents is to prevent accidents in the first place. Why is the car accident crisis increasing in the U.S., and what can drivers do to protect themselves?
While researchers initially suggested that the increase in traffic fatalities could be linked to the better economy and more drivers on the road, some experts believe that the increase in fatalities on the road can be linked to distracted driving and warmer temperatures. As more people rely on cell phones for maps and as more use their phones to complete more tasks than ever before, the temptation to engage in distracted driving has increased. According to Distraction.gov, distracted driving can be any range of activities including, texting, talking on a cell phone, grooming, reading maps, using GPS, changing the radio stations, flipping through songs on an MP3 player, and even watching a video.
Our phones are powerful tools, but these same powerful tools may be putting us in danger and leading to more deaths each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2014, 431,000 people were injured due to distracted driving. More states are banning the use of mobile phones while driving. Penalties for texting and driving are increasing. The financial consequences of distracted driving can also be serious. More lawyers are seeking personal injury recoveries from individuals who negligently choose to engage in distracted driving while behind the wheel. The Cooper Law Firm are Texas personal injury lawyers who understand the unique challenges car wreck survivors and their families face. The firm handles a range of cases and helps families seek justice when loved ones are injured due to distracted driving.
The U.S. car wreck crisis isn’t likely to end soon. As Americans become increasingly reliant on their cell phones and as researchers come to better understand the addictive nature of these devices, new technology may need to be developed to prevent drivers from using these phones while they are behind the wheel. Until then, families and victims have the right to speak up and hold drivers accountable when distracted behavior behind the wheel results in injuries or deaths.