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Why Do Vehicular Accidents Happen Despite So Much Safety Technology?

— November 24, 2021

Surprisingly, most car wrecks happen less than three miles away from the driver’s home.

No matter where you go, you’ll likely see some cars or trucks in the parking lot. These days, it’s necessary to have a car to get just about anywhere. However, drivers have to be especially careful when driving to avoid accidents. 

Even though automobiles have been around for quite some time, there are still some things we don’t know about cars. What is more staggering is that today’s cars are chock-full of safety technologies and systems, navigating and parking for us, keeping the lane for us, and even avoiding accidents in our stead. And yet, car wrecks still occur. So let’s see some factors that still contribute to crashes so we can learn about these situations to avoid accidents in the future. 

Facts About Cars, Trucks, and Accidents 

Market data from IHS Automotive reveals that there are over 253 million cars in the US. Abut half of these vehicles are on the highways and roads every day. Since so many people operate automobiles every day, many of them are not fully alert while driving, which increases the chances of accidents. Unfortunately, around 100 Americans will die each day due to a traffic accident.

There have been recent improvements in the number of car wrecks that take place in the US. Fatal car crashes increased significantly in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and there were over 54,500 fatalities in 1972. Stricter regulation and technological improvements led to a decrease in accidents – there were around 40,000 car accident deaths every year in the 1990s. Car wreck-related fatalities dropped to 33,883 in 2009, but there was another spike in 2015 when the death toll reached over 40,000.

It seems that no matter how much safety technology carmakers put in their vehicles, distracted driving, negligence, fatigue, and other factors are still taking their toll on human lives. 

Car Accidents are a Problem All Over the World 

Automobile accidents are just a major issue in the US. Car wrecks claim the lives of 1,300,000 individuals around the world every year. This means that around 2.3% of all deaths are due to an automobile collision. 

It can be helpful to understand car crashes and read more about truck accident cases so you can learn more about the factors that led to those events and practice safety precautions. In addition, if you’re injured in a car accident, you should get a personal injury attorney with experience in vehicular accidents. They can assist you in negotiating with insurance companies and providing evidence in court that will help you receive a fair settlement. 

Speeding Still Causes Car Accidents 

Historical logs in Ohio indicate that the first driver to get a ticket for speeding received the citation in 1904 for going 12 miles an hour. This indicates that the discretion of police officers does play a role in whether or not you get pulled over for speeding. Going too fast is one of the main reasons for accidents, so be sure to follow the speed limit to maintain control of your vehicle while driving. 

Irresponsibility Can Lead to Accidents 

Several organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Preventing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the National Safety Council,  confirm that irresponsible behavior is one of the major car accidents cases. For example, around 40% of all car crashes are because of drunk drivers, and between 20% and 40% of wrecks are due to a distracted driver. 

Cellphones Increase Accident Risks

Driver using smartphone behind the wheel; image by Alexandre Boucher, via
Driver using smartphone behind the wheel; image by Alexandre Boucher, via

Using a cell phone while operating a vehicle leads to manual, mental, and visual distractions for drivers, which means a driver on their phone is four times more likely to have a collision. In addition, if a driver is going the speed limit on the highway, the time it would take to read a short text is the same amount of time it would take for the car to travel the length of an entire football field blindfolded. 

Accidents Happen Close to Home 

Surprisingly, most car wrecks happen less than three miles away from the driver’s home. Researchers aren’t sure why this is true, but it may have something to do with the fact that most people have a short commute to work or other essential locations like the grocery store or gas station. People also tend to be more relaxed when they are close to home, which increases the likelihood of negligence while driving. 

Bottom Line

If back in the day we could assume car technology was not advanced enough to keep us safe, now we have to focus our attention on ourselves. Putting aside car malfunctions and defective car parts, most accidents occur because people drive too fast, use their cell phones while driving, don’t keep their eyes on the road, or drive intoxicated or exhausted. Could we infer that we stopped paying attention and became too arrogant behind the wheel because our cars do almost everything in our stead? 

In any case, car crashes claim unthinkable numbers of lives. While car manufacturers and authorities work round the clock to prevent and manage such disasters, we should all become more responsible. 

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