The United States is a huge country, with cities spread out and miles of open land between them. This is especially true of the Midwest, Missouri, and the area around St. Joseph. The huge amount of land area in the States makes driving a large part of who we are, as Americans. However, living in a driving-centric culture comes with both pros and cons. One of the cons is a high number of car accidents.
The good news is that the number of fatalities from car accidents in the United States has decreased over the past few decades. However, 2015 and 2016 have seen a significant spike in the number of people killed in car crashes. Transportation experts are worried by this recent trend, and are trying to understand where it’s coming from.
Fatalities from Car Accidents Spike
Since the 1970s, deaths from car accidents in the United States have been in a slow but steady decline. In 1970, 52,000 people died on the roads of America from car crashes. In 2012, this number had fallen to 33,500, despite the fact that the population had increased by 52% in that time span.
However, that trend towards safer roads took a sharp reverse in the past couple of years. Figures from the National Safety Council looked at number of fatalities in car accidents from the first six months of each year from 2014 through 2016. These showed that car accident fatalities rose from 16,251 in 2014 to 17,530 in 2015 to 19,100 in 2016. Even when accounting for people driving more over that time span, this was a significant increase in the number of people who were getting killed in car accidents across the country.
Gas Prices and Unemployment Both Factors
A group of researchers at the University of Connecticut, however, noticed that the uptick in deadly car accidents over the past years went hand-in-hand with lower gas prices and lower unemployment rates. People hit the road more often both when gas prices are lower and when they have to go somewhere to work. Additionally, people who are out of work, according to the researchers, tend to drive less and more carefully, to avoid getting costly tickets or into an accident that they can’t afford.
Car Accident Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
Regardless of the cause, seeing more people suffering personal injuries in car accidents is never a good thing. Driving is an integral aspect of how we live in the States, and making sure that our roads are as safe as possible should be a priority.
That is why the personal injury attorneys at the Smith Law Office represent clients who have been hurt in car accidents in and around St. Joseph, Missouri. We fight both in and out of court to make sure people get the compensation that they need to make a full recovery.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car accident near St. Joseph, contact the Smith Law Office online or at (816) 875-9373.