After years of decline in fatal car crashes, new data shows a rise in car accidents and auto-related deaths for the first half of 2015. What’s the cause?
Most experts agree the common causes for fatal auto accidents are speeding, intoxication and not wearing a seat belt. However this combination of factors can’t be the only reason for the rise. As stricter laws enforce the use of seat belts, drunk driving consequences and safer cars, fatal crashes were falling in numbers over the last several years up until this year.
According to the nonprofit National Safety Council (NSC), a combination of factors contributed to the upsurge of auto accidents for the first half of 2015: gas prices were lower than previous years, the unemployment rate decreased and unpleasant weather conditions in some parts of the country even played a role. With more drivers on the road there’s naturally a higher chance for mistakes and bad decisions to be made, which increases the occurrence of accidents. But one major contributor that continues to be analyzed is cellphones.
Though most states ban texting while driving and require hands-free devices when behind the wheel, distracted driving (specifically with talking, texting and other uses for smartphones like watching videos) continues to be examined as a contributing factor since the NSC estimates 1 in 4 crashes involve a cellphone. Even billionaire businessman Warren Buffett found it difficult to come to any other conclusion based on the data and has said, “If cars are better–and they clearly are–drivers must be worse.” (adjusted for mileage)
The record number of car-related deaths for 2015, which is estimated to go above 40,000 for the first time since 2007, has resulted in higher premiums for drivers. Some of the largest auto insurers have raised their premiums to counter the expenses related to new accident claims. If the auto accident and auto-related death rates continue to increase, more car insurers may have to increase their premiums to offset the frequency and severity of insurance claims.
At Active Insurance, we can help you find cheap car insurance in Chicago so you will be covered in case of an accident. As an independent family-owned agency, we find cheap auto insurance rates that meet the needs of our customers. Contact us today to get a free quote, and remember when you’re behind the wheel, always practice safe driving to protect you and your fellow drivers on the road. It could save a life!
Image Source: sites.psu.edu