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What the rise in fatal car accidents means

If you look over the fatalities that have occurred over the decades in the United States, you will notice a few trends. The first is that for most of modern American driving history, the number of people that have died in motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. per year has been over 40,000. There were even periods where it stayed above 50,000 every year.

The second thing you will notice is that in the last decade, the fatality rate has greatly improved. 1992 was the first year since 1962 to see fewer than 40,000 deaths in motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Then, starting in 2008, the rate dropped below 40,000 again and has remained below that number ever since.

However, there is a third trend that you will notice looking at these numbers, and it is far from a positive one: the number of deaths in motor vehicle accidents has gone way up in the last two years. 2015 saw a 10.5 percent increase in the number of motor vehicle deaths, with 35,485 people dying in crashes (only 32,744 died in 2014). 2016 continued with this unfortunate upwards trend, as 37,461 people died in motor vehicle accidents.

The reason why this is happening, though an important factor and something worthy of investigating, doesn't necessarily console the families who have been irreparably damaged by these accidents. For so many people, a fatal motor vehicle accident becomes the defining moment of their family's life. In the wake of such an accident, or even a non-fatal accident, the victim and/or his or her loved ones need to consider legal action.

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