A growing and healthier economy is good news for California residents. However, some statistics show that this improvement may come at a cost. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety calculated that as unemployment decreases due to an overall increase in economic health, the number of traffic fatalities increases. Drivers should be aware of the increased dangers of the road and what to do if they are injured in an accident.
The IIHS report linking economic recovery to traffic deaths discussed several possible reasons for the trend. More people tend to drive for pleasure as the economy improves, and there is more money to spend on vacations and other leisure activities. Those driving for pleasure may also drive more recklessly or in ways that make them prone to accidents. For example, they may drive more often on longer trips or in new areas compared to their familiar daily commute.
The number of road fatalities has been slightly held in check by advances in car safety technologies. Experts say that as more vehicles are equipped with these technologies or become increasingly autonomous, traffic fatalities and accidents in general will decrease. There is little doubt that modern cars are some of the safest on the road, but they still share the streets with many cars that are less equipped. There may not be significant impact from safety or autonomous technology for decades to come.
When car accidents result in serious injury, the injured person may file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver in an attempt to recover damages. The amount of possible damages depends on the accident and the fault attributed to the drivers involved. An injured plaintiff may be able to recover damages to pay for medical expenses, lost wages or pain and suffering. An attorney may be able to help a driver determine the damages they can collect.