Although many states in the nation have implemented stricter laws and penalties against negligent motorists, the number of people killed in devastating car accidents continues to rise. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that motor traffic fatalities jumped from 32,675 deaths in 2014 to approximately 35,200 deaths in 2015, which is a 7.7 percent increase. In Tennessee alone, 1,349 people were killed in car collisions in 2014.
Researchers have attributed this surge in fatalities to several factors, including the continued usage of cellphones while driving. As a way to combat distracted driving, several states have made it illegal to talk or text on hand-held cellphones while behind the wheel, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. In Tennessee, for example, texting and driving is prohibited. In addition to drivers not concentrating on the road, fatal auto accidents may be caused by the following:
- Drunk and drowsy driving
- Failure to use child safety seats
- Failure to use seat belts
An estimated 94 percent of deadly traffic accidents are thought to be caused by human behaviors, such as those listed above. However, other factors may contribute to this increase as well. As the American economy improves, more people are traveling and putting more miles on the nation’s highways. With a greater number of motorists on the road, the potential for danger also increases.
In order to stay safe while driving, motorists should be sure to always buckle up and follow the posted speed limit, especially in bad weather conditions. Furthermore, motorists should not use any type of cellphone, including hand-hand or hands free devices. If people are aware of the growing problem of car accident deaths, they may be able to help lower their risk of danger on the road.