2023 may have begun a reversal of a concerning traffic trend

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Car Accidents

Federal authorities have tracked traffic collisions for decades. Public awareness campaigns, improved road design and better safety features in vehicles have all combined to reduce the level of risk involved in motor vehicle travel.

Until 2020, there had been a long-term trend toward an overall reduction in fatal crashes in particular. However, 2020 saw that trend suddenly change. Despite a reduction in the overall miles traveled that year, traffic crashes and fatalities rose sharply. That negative trend continued for several years. Thankfully, early data from 2023 indicates that crash rates across the United States and here in Indiana may have finally begun to decline again.

What happened in 2023?

After three years of increasing crash rates and concern from safety specialists, 2023 finally saw improvements in traffic crash reports. Specifically, as people continued to increase how much they traveled in motor vehicles, the possibility of dying in a crash simultaneously dropped.

Researchers look at the number of miles traveled to quantify the likelihood of a fatal crash. Preliminary data based on the first six months of 2023 showed a drop in fatalities based on miles traveled. There were 1.24 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, which was lower than the projected fatality rate of 1.13 deaths per 100 million miles.

The change in trend was as much local as it was nationwide. Indiana and the rest of the local region, which includes Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota, saw a 2% decline in traffic fatalities when comparing the first half of 2023 with the first half of 2022.

Vehicle occupants in Indiana and throughout the United States now have a slightly lower chance of dying than they did just two years ago. It may be some time before the final 2023 data becomes available, but the end of the year and 2024 could very well continue that positive trend.

While crash rates might have dropped, collisions are still one of the top causes of severe injury and premature mortality in the United States. Those involved in collisions often need to take legal action afterward. People injured by negligence or misconduct can file personal injury lawsuits or insurance claims.

Understanding car crash trends can help people reduce their risk of being injured in a motor vehicle collision. Drivers and passengers alike may also benefit from learning about the systems in place for their protection after a wreck.

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