Despite schools, restaurants and offices being closed for the better part of 2020, the entire country saw an uptick in fatal car accidents last year. Utah was no different, with car accident fatalities increasing from 248 in 2019 to 280 in 2020. Additionally, this year has already seen 32 deaths in motor vehicle accidents, on track to eclipse last year’s number once again. Below are some reasons car accident crashes and fatalities are on the rise, despite fewer cars on the roads and fewer total miles being travelled:
- Seat belt usage has declined. Despite laws mandating seatbelt usage and the research demonstrating its role in decreasing fatalities, people still do not put on their seatbelts. Experts contend that in the past year, drivers and passengers have been too distracted to put on their seatbelts.
- Neglecting to follow traffic rules. Seeing empty roadways in the last year pushed drivers to go faster. As a result of their risky driving, their have been more accidents and the increased speed means more people are becoming seriously injured or losing their life.
- People have been sick or known a sick person, causing them to become anxious and distracting them from the task of driving. They have also begun to rely on their phones more, for everything from music to conference calls and online classes. As a result, they are taking their eyes, minds and hands off the steering wheel.
Following traffic safety rules is essential in keeping not only one’s self safe on the road, but also everyone else. When these rules are not followed and a car accident ends up injuring someone, it might be possible to hold the negligent party accountable for their behavior.