Every day that we utilize the roads, we know there is a danger. Regardless of the time, there is always a chance that we will be involved in a car accident. However, recently, the chances of one being involved in a fatal car accident has increased dramatically.
Number of miles driven
It may seem counter intuitive that there has been a dramatic increase in traffic fatalities when, presumably, there have been a lot less people on the roads over the past two years. This is because of the multiple weather events, shutdown orders and the transition of many offices to telework. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, collectively, Americans drove more miles in 2021. Indeed, when compared to 2020, there was a nearly 12% increase in the number of miles driven (244 billion more miles).
Accordingly, with the knowledge of this 12% increase in miles driven, the fact that there has been a 12% increase in traffic fatalities between 2020 to 2021 should not come as a surprise. However, what is a shock is that the nearly 32,000 traffic deaths are the highest number of deaths reported since 2006, the highest number year ever recorded by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, maintained by the NHTSA.
Not the case in every state, but most
The increase in traffic fatalities occurred in just about every state, 38 to be exact, while two others saw their rates remain flat. In fact, only 10 states and the District of Columbia saw any reduction in the number of car accident fatalities. This means that the vast majority of Americans drive on much more dangerous roads than ever before, including New Jersey.
For the New Jersey family members of those lost in car crashes, there are options. Of course, none of the available options will ever bring back our loved ones, but we can seek justice. Through a wrongful death lawsuit, the family of the victims can seek their justice from the negligent driver. This can help pay for all expenses incurred as a result of the accident, along with future earnings and other related damages. And, if there were aggravating factors, like alcohol or drugs, punitive damages could be awarded over and above a family’s actual losses. These damages can help a family move on or at least survive without their loved one.