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Fatal Accidents in the First Nine Months of 2022

What 2022 Tells Us About Traffic Fatalities

Nine months into 2022, there was a small decline in driving-related fatalities; unfortunately, the same could not be said for fatalities among cyclists and pedestrians, which were still on the rise during that time period. During the first half of 2022, there was an estimated 8% fatality increase for cyclists hit by motor vehicles. For motorcyclists, there was a 5% increase in deaths, and pedestrian fatalities increased by 2% from the previous year.

A Small Victory

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 31,785 deaths occurred as a result of automobile accidents from January through September of 2022. This is a 0.2% decrease from 2021 when compared to that same time frame. Another estimate from that agency reveals that there was a drop in roadway deaths for the third quarter of 2022. While this wasn't a substantial dip, it does mark two quarterly declines in a row. This is big news since it comes after a continuous increase in these types of fatalities year over year for seven straight quarters. To make safer roadways, the responsibility rests in the hands of every individual. The most important way that drivers can do their part is to exercise more caution behind the wheel. It's crucial that everyone keeps an eye out for the most vulnerable people who use the road. This includes people traveling by motorcycles and bicycles as well as pedestrians. And while it's good news that there's been this slight dip in traffic-related deaths, it doesn't erase the fact that it comes on the tail of a significant spike in traffic fatalities that has lasted for two years - the likes of which had never been seen. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, there was a major uptick in reckless driving that goes hand in hand with this statistic. While any decline in traffic-related fatalities is something to celebrate, there were only 65 fewer deaths overall in the time frame of January through September. Officials have called it a step in the right direction, but they are clear that it is still only a small step.

Why Is Driving So Dangerous?

One of the main types of behavior exhibited by people behind the wheel that creates more hazardous conditions for everyone is driving too fast whether it's disobeying the posted speed limit or simply driving too fast for road conditions. Another major problem that causes fatal accidents is people who drive under the influence. Impaired driving can also include fatigue and even just being in a highly emotional state. Of course, drugs and alcohol are still two of the most notorious causes of impaired driving. There are also distractions to worry about, which is an often underappreciated issue. Distractions can come from anywhere, including others in the car or electronic billboards flashing from the side of the road. But cellphone use remains one of the most significant driving distractions, especially texting and driving. The uptick in traffic deaths is also owed to crash victims who didn't use the safety features that they had available to them - namely, a seatbelt. Failing to buckle up greatly increases the risk of fatality when an accident occurs. These were the main types of behavior that are largely blamed for the spike in fatalities from 2020 to 2021. The start of this rise in traffic fatalities came at a time when roadways were mostly deserted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. More people than ever were working from home or were sheltering in place and thus had less reason to drive. But just because there weren't as many people on the road didn't mean that it led to greater traffic safety. During these low-traffic time periods, there was a massive increase in speeding, and more drivers were behaving recklessly or operating vehicles while under the influence. As a result, many drivers were in need of an Allentown personal injury attorney. Government officials have stated that a significant number of those who were killed in car accidents weren't using their safety belts. And while it will take some time for the end results of 2022's traffic fatality statistics to be analyzed and released, according to the NHTSA, what they estimate is usually fairly close to the truth. Call Metzger & Kleiner today to discuss your case. You can reach one of our experienced Allentown personal injury attorneys at 215-567-6616.

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