When gas gets cheaper, Americans go driving. When more cars are on the road, more drivers are injured in cars, trucks, mopeds and ATVs. Professors have estimated that cheaper gas has led to an additional 9,000 highway deaths – every year!
With falling gas prices, our country has seen a sudden rise in car accidents. A NHTSA study has shown that automobile accidents are on the rise, calling the numbers a “troubling departure from a general downward trend.” In fact, in the first part of last year, traffic-related deaths nationally spiked upward when compared to the same period one year previously – an 8 percent jump. Last year, an estimated 90 people were killed each day in automobile accidents.
What has Caused More Car Wrecks?
What is the reason behind these statistics? It’s a mix of factors. Lower gas prices means more people driving more often, and that leads to more wrecks. Technology leads to distractions like texting while driving. Driving under the influence, speeding, and other reckless behaviors all contribute to the of highway deaths. All of these are preventable causes, and yet the use of seatbelts is also a huge factor in whether a person will survive an accident. An NHTSA study has shown that approximately 50 percent of all drivers who died in accidents in 2013 were not wearing seatbelts.
The Downside of Cheaper Gas
As gas prices continue to dive and more drivers take to the road, traffic accidents and fatalities unfortunately rise in proportion. In an article posted by NPR, a sociologist from South Dakota State University concluded that a $2 price drop in gasoline can translate to approximately 9,000 fatal car accidents each year throughout the country. Not only is this due to the number of drivers on the road, but also in the way people drive when gasoline is more expensive – they are more likely to maintain a steady speed and accelerate slowly, as well as consolidate many driving trips into one in order to save gas. These behaviors, which actually make for a safer driver, tend to be less important to drivers when the price of gas is not a concern.
Wondering what you can do to stay safe on South Carolina roads? Consider these tips:
- First, always drive defensively. Always be on the lookout for reckless or erratic drivers, and be prepared to brake if necessary. Keep a safe following distance to allow yourself enough time to react if another driver unexpectedly does something unsafe.
- Second, if you can avoid it, try not to drive during rush hour or during harsh weather. These are two times in which a large number of accidents occur.
- Third, know that George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers is always on your side if anything should happen.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident, motorcycle accident, truck accident, or even moped accident in South Carolina that was not your fault, contact our firm as soon as possible to speak with a South Carolina personal injury attorney. We are available to discuss your case for free during an initial consultation to help you determine whether you are eligible to pursue damages, how much your case may be worth, and who can be held liable for your accident.