Why American Traffic Accident Deaths Increased in 2023

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I read a fitness/outdoor/adventure e-newsletter whose author always signs off, “Go out. Have Fun. Be courageous. Don’t die.”

It seems that we spend a good deal of our time these days in the 4th category above. We have turned to health foods. Sworn off alcohol. Dumped the late night soirees with our friends. Finally have arisen from that couch and stream binging to intentional daily exercise. Right?

But here’s the sad irony to all those good intention health “hacks.” We take care of ourselves until we get behind the wheel of our car. Suddenly we become a little less careful and, according to the latest national statistics concerning automobile accidents and causally related deaths, there was a record increase in 2023 regarding the above for the first time in several years. Why?

An article in the 12/22/23 issue of “The Week” magazine reveals three reasons why:

Proliferation in number of SUVs, which are heavier with much greater impact;
Legalization of marijuana has contributed to the incline (post-accident autopsies show that at least 50% of the drivers involved were on some active drug at the time of the accident);

Use of cellphones while driving. Who of you has not become outraged (but hopefully not too much so) over that weaving car in front of you going 20 mph while holding up traffic and creating general chaos!?
And, though this reason was not mentioned in the above-cited article, surely the very poor condition of our roads and interstates are creating more angry, impatient drivers who are taking risks to bypass crawling traffic on a long-ago outdated infrastructure.

So, what should we do in our automobiles to avoid dying while having fun? Slow down. Give yourself extra time to make an appointment: The days of rushing at the last minute to an appointment are over. Haven’t you noticed? Please don’t be tempted to use that cellphone, especially to text. I somewhat tame my impatience with certain relaxing music.

Meanwhile, here’s wishing each of you the very best of all Christmases this season. And, God forbid!, if you should get into an accident, no matter how serious you may think it is, give us a call for a free and honest consultation regarding your claim.

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