The highway fatality statistics across the United States for 2022 are being released and it is stoking concern. Californians who commute and need to take the state freeways should be aware of the growing number of deaths. A major factor in the number of crashes is believed to be distracted driving.
When taking to the road, everyone needs to be attentive. Even if they take steps to be safe, there is constant risk of a distracted driver causing an accident. With the potential problems that can come about in the aftermath, it is imperative to know what can be done to be covered for all that was lost.
Highway fatalities increased by 22% in 2022
The National Safety Council states that there was an increase of around 46,000 highway deaths in the U.S. in 2022. This was 22% higher than the previous year. According to the vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, it could be worse given the problems with accurately accruing data.
That National Distracted Driving Coalition (NDDC) was created in 2021 to address the challenges inherent with people having such easy access to a handheld device and all it entails. Its objective is to work together with automakers, cellphone companies, lawmakers, drivers and others to address it.
The numbers for fatal crashes that are directly linked to distraction take time to assess. The most recent are from 2020 when more than 3,100 people were killed because of distracted driving. Nearly 325,000 were injured. Overall, there were close to 39,000 highway fatalities. That means nearly 10% were connected to a distracted driver.
These numbers, according to the NDDC, are undercounting the number of distracted driving collisions by as much as 20%. States differ in their laws regarding handheld devices making it difficult to craft strategies in a broad-based way.
A survey by Travelers Insurance found that more than three in four people used their phone while behind the wheel; the same number used the device for navigation; more than half sent or read texts and emails; just over one-quarter used it for social media; and 19% were shopping.
People injured in an auto accident may need help determining the cause
California has laws in place to prevent distracted driving. Drivers cannot use a handheld device while driving. Unfortunately, in the Golden State and across the U.S., people ignore the law and safety considerations.
Auto accidents can change people’s lives with long-term injuries, medical costs and other obstacles. If there is a fatality, it will be even worse. For help with forging a strategy forward, it is important to have qualified assistance to gather evidence and pursue compensation.