Road fatalities in the United States remain incredibly common. Think of a major college with a population of around 40,000 students. Believe it or not, that’s about how many people die every year on the country’s roads.
If that feels abnormally high, it is. This is a number that should, in theory, always fall. Cars get safer. Drivers get more education. Technology gets better. But, despite all of that, the numbers are not dropping.
In fact, at least 40,000 people have died in these car accidents every year for the last three years, per the National Safety Council. Back in 2016, the highway saw 40,327 fatalities. In 2017, that number did drop slightly, but it still came in at 40,231. In 2018, estimates put it right at 40,000 as of the latest reports.
What about 2019?
Obviously, it’s too soon to know what the fatality totals will look like in 2019, with the year not yet at a close. Even if you’re reading this in 2020, it takes time to compile those statistics. Is 2019 going to be another year with 40,000 deaths, or will things finally get better?
It all depends if the trend holds or not. After six months, a quick analysis showed that around 18,500 people lost their lives. That’s a decline from the previous year, as the totals fell by about 3%.
While the reports did say that the deaths came in above 18,500, the implication is that they still registered under 19,000. Even if 20,000 people died in the second half of the year — winter driving is coming, after all — that would still put the total just under the 40,000 mark.
That’s still a lot of fatalities. It still shows that there is work to be done. Issues that lead to deadly accidents include:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Roadway design flaws
- Mechanical errors
Most crashes simply happen due to some type of human error. While seeing things trend down is encouraging, it is hard to celebrate when you may still have 39,000 people with their lives cut short. Plus, that’s not even taking into account the millions of people who suffered life-changing injuries. Many times, new cars are able to keep people alive in what may have been a deadly crash 20 years before, but that does not mean those people did not suffer injuries.
Have you been in an accident?
Did you get into an accident this year? Was it caused by another driver? If you suffered serious injuries or if a loved one lost their life in the wreck, you need to know what legal steps you can take.