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Changing Driving Habits Have Made the Roads Far More Deadly

Golstein Heslop Steele Clapper Oswalt & Smith Nov. 18, 2021

The way people think about driving or commuting changes over time. Driving has gone from a thrilling activity to just another part of the daily grind. The speed with which people expect to travel has steadily increased over the years as well.

Modern workers often have a tendency to want to multitask on their way to or from work. They frequently want to minimize their commute times or use that time for something other than just driving. Overall, some of the more concerning trends on the roads in recent years are the increasing overall speed of the flow of traffic and the increased rate of distracted driving.

These modern changes in driving habits have unfortunately led to a reversal of the long-term trend of diminishing road fatalities in the United States.

Bad Driving Habits Have a Big Impact on A Macro Scale

More people speeding and driving while distracted means more crashes. The average person doesn’t experience this increased risk directly unless they get into a wreck, but the statistics simply don’t lie. For years, traffic crashes and fatalities had been in decline, but 2020 reversed that trend, seeing fatalities increase significantly.

At the same time, there were reports from around the country of a massive uptick in speeding and particularly extreme speeding where drivers exceed the speed limit by more than 5 or 10 miles per hour. Faster speeds and more distractions both play a role in rising fatality rates on the roads. In 2020, a year that saw a marked decline in the average number of miles driven, fatality rates hit their highest point in over a decade.

Although the statistics for 2021 aren’t in yet, a review of data from the first half of the year indicates that 2021 could continue this concerning trend of more dangerous driving behaviors and more overall deaths.

The Risk on The Road Is the Highest It Has Been in Years

You can’t avoid going out on the roads just because your risk for a crash is higher than it was two years ago. However, you can make decisions about how you behave at the wheel that reflect the increased risk for modern drivers.

Committing to lower speeds and avoiding distractions could help you prevent a crash. Understanding the risks may also help you fight back if someone else’s bad decisions leave you hurt after a car wreck.