Compared to a few years ago, driving in Arizona and around the country has become more dangerous. According to a report from the National Safety Council, traffic fatalities have gone up nationwide by 14 percent since 2014. In 2018, approximately 4.5 million people suffered serious injuries in motor vehicle crashes. Automotive safety technology that detects other vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists could reduce accidents, but the council's interim president and CEO said that the United States needs to adopt a culture of safe driving as well.
Distracted driving and drowsiness persist as preventable problems that are causing accidents. More vehicles include built-in infotainment systems that draw drivers' eyes away from the road. Pervasive use of smartphones has also worsened distracted driving as people talk and text behind the wheel. These negative behaviors translate into distractions that contributed to 8 percent of accidents in 2017. For the same year, 2 percent of crashes were attributed to drowsy drivers.
In addition to promoting better driving habits, the NSC report highlighted the promise of automotive safety technology. Vehicle and pedestrian avoidance systems and automatic emergency braking systems could help drivers avoid accidents. Automakers continue to test and improve this technology, but not enough vehicles on the road have these advanced capabilities at the moment to significantly influence accident rates.
Because motor vehicle accidents often inflict injuries that result in high medical bills and time away from work, victims of negligent drivers sometimes seek legal representation. An attorney could help a person understand the process of making a personal injury claim. Some issues, like ride-sharing liability, can complicate the task of recovering damages. An attorney could sort through these details, file claims with the appropriate insurers and be ready to litigate a case if responsible parties try to avoid compensating a victim.