Fewer Traffic Accidents but a Higher Percentage of Fatal Accidents
As you might imagine, the number of traffic accidents during the pandemic has gone down significantly over the past year. However, a higher percentage of traffic accidents are proving fatal. What does that mean?
Well, we know two things. First, there are fewer miles being driven as commutes to school and work become unnecessary. That means fewer cars on the road which leads to fewer accidents. Why then has the percentage of accidents that are fatal risen?
Why a Higher Percentage of Auto Accidents are Fatal
Both the number of accidents on American roadways and the number of deaths this year are down (not true in Florida—the number of fatal accidents is higher this year). The percentage of accidents that are fatal in consideration of all traffic accidents is higher everywhere, however. One of the main reasons for this is that a number of these accidents are being caused by larger commercial trucks. Large commercial truck accidents are much more likely to be fatal than accidents involving two commuter vehicles.
While the number of commuters on the road has gone down, the number of truck accidents remains about the same. With American logistics providing us with everything from toilet paper to processed meat, the demand on the industry has been higher than ever. This has led, some believe, to more drivers on the road who underqualified to drive large commercial tractor-trailers and other dangerous vehicles. It has also led to slips in the standard of care employed by trucking companies to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy. Regulations that have been imposed on the trucking industry concerning when they are required to take breaks during deliveries have also been suspended.
Another possible explanation for the uptick in fatal traffic accidents involves the lack of traffic on the road. This is pure speculation, but some believe that fewer vehicles on the road may cause drivers to speed since there are no other vehicles around slowing them down. This could result in a greater percentage of fatal accidents, but one would guess they would be single-vehicle as opposed to multi-vehicle accidents.
Lastly, economic pressures, uncertainty, and stress related to finances may have caused an uptick in the overall amount of alcohol consumption and drug abuse may also be accounting for the uptick in fatal accidents. Accidents involving drunk or distracted drivers are much more likely to be fatal than accidents involving sober and attentive drivers.
Understanding Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If a trucking company fails to inspect their vehicle prior to delivery or their driver causes an accident and kills another motorist, the company is generally liable for the death. A grieving family can file a lawsuit against the trucking company to hold them accountable for their safety failures. The family can recover damages related to burial expenses, medical expenses emerging from the accident, wages prorated to the loved one’s retirement age, and pain and suffering damages for both the family and the deceased.
Call a Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a commercial trucking company or lost a loved one in a tractor-trailer accident, call the Miami truck accident attorneys at Payer & Associates today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.