Driver Negligence Flagged as Major Cause of Spike in Highway Deaths


Highway fatalities went up in early 2021 despite fewer vehicles being on the road. According to statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 8,730 people nationwide were killed in fatal highway accidents during the first quarter of 2021 — a 10.5 percent increase from the first quarter of 2020, which was just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Why did this happen? Driver negligence appears to be the major cause. Accident data analysts observe that the empty roads in the early months of 2021 permitted riskier driving behavior. With less traffic, motorists seem to have felt empowered to drive faster and less carefully. Many drivers also failed to wear seatbelts while engaged in dangerous driving, which contributed to the increase in fatalities.

Driver negligence leading to accidents or fatality can consist of:

  • Driving recklessly or aggressively
  • Drowsy or fatigued driving
  • Texting or using a cellphone while driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving while distracted
  • Eating or drinking while driving
  • Driving at excessive speed
  • Failing to observe vehicles or road obstructions
  • Running a red light or traffic signal

If you suffered injuries or the loss of a loved one in a car crash caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover your damages by bringing an auto accident injury lawsuit. However, there are a number of steps you should take immediately after an accident to protect your health as well as your legal rights. You should do the following:

  • Call 911 immediately — The police will arrive at the scene to document the accident, take witness statements and conduct any chemical tests that may be necessary. A police report can help you support your claim that the other driver was at fault.
  • Seek medical attention right away — Medical documentation is the foundation of every personal injury case. Even if you don’t think you were hurt in the crash, certain injuries may not become apparent until days or weeks later. By going to the emergency room or an urgent care facility following the accident, you can obtain the appropriate course of medical treatment.
  • Call a qualified lawyer — Once you’re sure you’re out of danger, contact an attorney who can begin gathering proof of the other driver’s negligence in order to build a personal injury case.

The skilled and experienced New Jersey auto accident attorneys at Siegel Law can help you obtain the maximum compensation to which you’re entitled for your injuries. Call 201-444-4000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation in our Ridgewood office.

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