Four Reasons Why U.S. Traffic Deaths Are on the Rise

Car Accidents
By Goodwin Como, P.C.

There is no debate that cars are getting safer all the time. In addition to seatbelts, airbags, and antilock brake systems, vehicles now feature more sophisticated safety features such as crash avoidance systems and adaptive cruise control. States have passed “hands-free” laws and increased penalties for aggressive driving and other dangerous behaviors. Public awareness campaigns that encourage safe driving are ongoing. Despite all of this, however, statistics show that traffic fatalities have been rising over the last few years. Not only are the total number of deaths rising but so is the number of fatalities per million miles driven. In other words, the overall likelihood of being killed in a car accident is higher than in years past.

As personal injury and car accident lawyers, it may be helpful to identify some potential causes. And if you have lost a loved one in a car accident, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your options as soon as possible.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

While there was a slight decrease in the number of alcohol-related fatalities during the pandemic, 2020 saw the highest number of alcohol-related fatalities in well over a decade. 2022 saw a very slight increase over 2021, which showed a 5% increase over 2020. The bottom line is that alcohol-related traffic fatalities are increasing despite legislators’ and law enforcement’s efforts to the contrary.


Speeding continues to be a significant factor in many fatal car accidents. Experts believe that one reason is that drivers have the perception that modern safety features make modern cars safer at higher speeds. Another reason is that Americans continue to purchase larger and heavier cars, including electric vehicles, which can be hundreds and even thousands of pounds heavier than conventional vehicles. Ultimately, higher speeds and heavier vehicles increase the chances of death in the event of a serious accident.

Seatbelt Use is Declining

It seems obvious that seatbelts save lives, but unfortunately, there was a significant decline in the use of seatbelts during and after the pandemic. State and federal government authorities have put increased efforts behind public awareness campaigns encouraging the use of seatbelts, while police have stepped up efforts to enforce existing seatbelt laws.

Road and Infrastructure Design

Many experts also believe that road design and a lack of enforcement devices are allowing drivers to speed and engage in other risky behaviors. Legislators are calling for increased funding to support safer road designs and the installation of red light and speed cameras.

Injured in a Car Accident? Call Goodwin Como Today

Thousands of people are injured and even killed in car accidents every year. If you have been involved in a car accident, you need someone on your side who can help you get the compensation you deserve. To discuss your case and how we can help, contact us today at 724-438-1616 to schedule a free consultation.