California’s streets and highways provide access to some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet, but that does not mean that it is all rainbows and butterflies on the roadway. Now more than ever, traveling California’s roads is a dangerous endeavor. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reports that fatalities on the Golden State’s roads were up a mind-boggling 15 percent from October 2020 through October 2021.
But that trend is not limited solely to California by any means. In fact, nationwide, the uptick in serious or deadly vehicles has gained the attention of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg who pledged earlier this month to formulate a national strategy to combat the rise in traffic-related deaths across the country.
30K+ Deaths in 9 Short Months
Help cannot come too soon for drivers and passengers making their way from place to place on increasingly dangerous roads. The U.S. government reported that in the first nine months of 2021, there were 31,720 deaths on the nation’s roads. This was 12 percent higher than the same period the year before and the biggest percentage increase since the U.S. Department of Transportation began compiling crash data statistics decades ago in 1975. A total of 38 states reported increased highway fatalities during the same time period.
The government’s plan to reduce the number of fatalities across the board utilizes a multi-pronged approach that will include multiple strategies, including boosting the safety feature of cars, designing roads that afford better protection for pedestrians and bicyclists, and limiting the speed of vehicles.
Buttigieg says that the U.S. is prepared to disburse $5 billion in grant money to the states to help them with programs and initiatives meant to reduce highway fatalities. This may include better crosswalks and lighting, dedicated bus and bike lanes, safer road designs, and lowering the speed limit, for example. An additional $4 billion in funding will also make its way to various programs through the government’s Highway Safety Improvement Program.
NHTSA: Reckless Driving to Blame
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reckless driving behaviors are to blame for the traffic death spike that started back in 2019 and continues today. According to research cited by the NHTSA, behaviors such as traveling without the benefit of seat belts and speeding are higher than usual.
CDC: Substance Abuse Factor in Deadly Crashes
Deadly car crashes on California’s streets and highways may have another ominous cause: the use of illicit substances by drivers. According to the Centers or Disease Control (CDC), the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the use of drugs and other substances, which has contributed to the increase in the number of fatal wrecks within the state and across the country. The CDC reports that 13 percent more Americans reported either beginning to abuse substances or increasing the number of illegal substances they use to cope with COVID-19-related stressors.
Injured During the Recent Spike in Car Crashes?
Being seriously injured can change your life forever. Hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries by reaching out to the Oxnard personal injury attorney with the Law Offices of J. Jeffrey Herman now. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 805-983-2344.
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