A new investigation by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Study shows that fewer drivers have been running red lights, driving drowsy, or driving under the influence of cannabis or alcohol, but the problems of distracted driving and speeding still remain serious issues on our roadways that significantly raise the number of traffic accident fatalities nationwide.
What the Study Showed
According to a news report, traffic fatalities in 2020 increased by 7.2% in spite of Americans driving 13.2% fewer miles. The main behaviors that caused roadway fatalities during the pandemic year were impaired driving, speeding, and failing to wear a seatbelt, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA also estimated that 38,680 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. in 2020.
The AAA study showed that the percentage of drivers using alcohol, consuming cannabis, or driving while drowsy declined by nearly a third between 2018 and 2020, speeding, distracted driving, and driving aggressively saw the least improvement.
An increasing proportion of drivers in AAA’s most recent traffic safety study reported that even though someone important to them disapproved of their using a cell phone while driving, many of them typed, texted, read, or made a call while driving anyway. The study shows that distracted driving behaviors are becoming socially acceptable in spite of the risks involved.
Negligence in Car Accidents
In a car accident case, “negligence” is defined as careless conduct that causes harm to another person. Speeding, distracted driving, running a red light, failing to yield the right of way, or impaired driving – all represent drivers who are negligent by doing something they shouldn’t have done. The law requires motorists to use reasonable care to avoid injuring other motorists, passengers, or pedestrians. If a driver fails to exercise such care and harms another as a result, he or she can be held financially liable for the losses caused.
Injured victims of car accidents can seek compensation for their damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and emotional distress
. If you have lost a loved one in a crash, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for your losses as well. An experienced California car accident lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.