There has been a decrease in the number of fatal car crashes across the nation as driving technology continues to improve. Thanks to traditional safety devices such as airbags and seatbelts, as well as newer innovations like lane departure warnings and backup cameras, people are more likely to survive even a serious car collision. However, that may not be the case in all places and all scenarios.
Here in Wyoming, the highway patrol recently published data that indicate that the number of fatalities connected to car crashes rose significantly last year. This is especially concerning as that number was on the decline before then. What could be behind this rise in fatal car accidents? Perhaps more importantly, what can you do to keep yourself and your family safe?
Rising numbers after years of decline
In 2019, 147 people died in car crashes in Wyoming. That means that 36 more people died in fatal crashes last year, which is an increase of almost a third from 2018. This is also the highest number of fatalities since 2015. Even considering those statistics, the overall fatality rate had been falling for around two decades. This sharp rise has officials on alert and looking for reasons why this may have occurred.
One official speculates that more people per crash may be losing their lives, which could account for the increase. This could suggest that fatal crashes are much more severe when they do occur. Still, the Department of Transportation and other related entities say they are paying attention.
Why fatal crashes happen
Though officials could not officially pinpoint a reason for the increase, they say that most fatal car accidents happen under specific circumstances. Fatal crashes often occur due to driver impairment, either through drugs or alcohol. Many happen due to driver inattention or distraction, which is becoming more common as mobile phone use rises. Another common reason is when a motorist drives at an excessive speed and fails to take road conditions into account.
Whatever the reason may be, if you or someone you love is hurt in a car crash with a negligent driver, the effects can be catastrophic. You may want to hold a driver or another party legally responsible for the crash. A personal injury attorney with knowledge of handling cases involving car accidents may be able to help you do just that.