Why are Fatal Car Accidents on the Rise?

Rachel N. Woloshin

Author: Rachel N. Woloshin

POST DATE: 10.12.22
Ccha  Personal Injury

If you or someone you know has recently been in a car accident in Indiana, you are not alone. Fatal car crashes have been on the rise in the Hoosier State since 2020.

According to the Indiana Traffic Safety Annual Report, there were 914 fatal car crashes in Indiana in 2021, up from 850 traffic fatalities in 2020. This is the highest number of fatal car crashes in Indiana since the 916 fatalities recorded in 2017. The national death toll for fatal car crashes in 2021 rose to 42,915 fatalities, a 10.5% increase from the previous year. As the numbers make clear, fatal car crashes are on the rise both in Indiana and across the nation.

CCHA Why are Fatal Car Accidents on the Rise blog

What Causes The Most Car Accidents?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) keeps a record of the most common causes of vehicle accidents. These common causes are:

  • Driving too fast for the road conditions, speeding, or racing;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication;
  • Operating the vehicle in a careless manner;
  • Failing to yield the right of way;
  • Failing to keep the vehicle in the correct lane;
  • Driving while distracted (e.g., driving while talking, eating, texting, etc.);
  • Operating a vehicle in an erratic manner;
  • Failing to obey traffic signs;
  • Overcorrecting or oversteering;
  • Obscured vision caused by rain, snow, glare, buildings, lights, trees, etc.; and
  • Driving while drowsy, fatigued, or ill.

According to the NHTSA, speeding was a contributing factor in about 29% of all fatal traffic accidents in 2020. Speeding became a larger problem starting in 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdowns because officers were less likely to stop drivers for speeding infractions.

What is Reckless Driving in Indiana?

Reckless driving causes fatal car accidents in many states, including Indiana. In Indiana, reckless driving is defined as:

  • Driving at such an unreasonably high or low speed that it becomes a danger to persons or property, or it impedes the proper flow of traffic;
  • Passing another vehicle on a slope or curve when visibility is less than 500 feet;
  • Driving in and out of a line of traffic; or
  • Speeding up or refusing to give one-half of the road to another driver overtaking and trying to pass you.

These acts are considered reckless because the driver knew or should have known the conduct was risky, and they decided to do it anyway. If you are hit by a reckless driver, they could face criminal penalties for their actions along with having to pay you compensation. If your accident was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another person, you might be entitled to compensation for your expenses and injuries.

What to Do If You Were Injured in a Car Accident

If you are injured in a car accident in Indiana, it is important that you seek legal counsel from an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. You should not be responsible for the costs associated with an accident you did not cause. Some of the expenses personal injury compensation might cover include:

  • Emergency medical care,
  • Doctor visits,
  • Medication,
  • Lost wages,
  • Physical therapy, and
  • Property damage.

Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may also receive compensation for the mental and physical damage you have endured, such as:

  • Pain and suffering,
  • Anxiety and depression,
  • Post-traumatic stress, and
  • Loss of consortium.

If a loved one was killed in a fatal car accident, you might be eligible to file a claim for wrongful death.

When evaluating potential compensation, it is important that you take past, present, and future expenses into account to make sure you do not settle for less than what you are entitled to. Keep track of your expenses by saving your doctor bills, pharmacy receipts, pay stubs, and other documents. Those records can help establish how much an injury has cost you.

Should You Hire a Car Accident Attorney?

Proving who was responsible for a car accident can be challenging. It is very likely the other party will claim you were at least partially responsible for the crash. An experienced attorney can advocate for your rights and help you gather evidence to make your claim stronger.

The experienced team at Church Church Hittle and Antrim understands the intricacies of personal injury law in Indiana and is proud to have served our clients and community for more than 140 years. Contact us online or by phone today to schedule an appointment to learn how we can help you.