Over the course of 2015, Americans put enough miles on the roads in the United States to make 337 round-trips to Pluto. People in the U.S. drove more total miles than at any time in history. Unfortunately, as the number of miles driven increased, the number of crashes has also risen dramatically as well.
When there is more driving going on, there’s a greater crash risk for every motorist on the road. If you or someone you love is one of the victims of a car accident, you need to understand what options are available to you for getting crash losses covered. If another driver was at fault, reach out to an Atlanta car accident lawyer to find out about your options for pursuing a personal injury claim to receive compensation. Families of those who died in car accidents can also seek assistance pursuing wrongful death cases.
Record Miles Driven Means More Risk of Atlanta Car Accidents
In 2015, 3.15 trillion miles were driven collectively by motorists in cars, trucks, buses, and other road vehicles. The Chicago Tribune reports this 3.15 trillion miles exceeded all records for past aggregate miles driven, despite the fact there is still a higher record for per capita miles driven. The average miles driven per person in 2015 was 9,794 per person while the highest number of average miles ever driven was 10,105 miles per person in 2004. While each individual driver didn’t drive more in 2015, the population has grown since 2004. This means there are many more people on the roads and collectively Americans drove more miles than any time in past history.
Falling prices for gas contributed in a significant way to prompting a new record in miles driven. There was a 28 percent decline in gas prices nationwide between 2014 and 2105 and gas prices fell below $1.50 per gallon in many parts of the United States. Dropping unemployment rates also helped to prompt more driving, both because of more commuters and because of increased income to spend on taking trips and driving.
The new record in miles driven has come at a price. Between 2014 and 2015, there was the most significant increase in car accident deaths in the past half century. While just four percent more total miles were driven in 2015 compared within 2014, there was an eight percent rise in the fatality rates. The fact the fatality rate increase outpaced the increase in total miles driven suggests there are additional factors at play besides just an increase in driving- motorists may also be less safe in general as they are on the roads more.
The trends which resulted in more driving in 2015 have already begun continuing into 2016, and there is a future drop in gas prices expected this year as well. If motorists do not realize there is an added risk of crashes, this year could be even worse than last year. Drivers have to take responsibility for being safe, and must be held accountable if they fail to do so and cause motor vehicle crashes to occur.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a collision. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.