Traffic deaths continue to surge. For the first nine months of 2021, 31,720 people lost their lives in car accidents. For reference, Johnny “Red” Floyd Stadium at MTSU has a capacity of 30,778. For that same time period in 2020, deaths from car accidents increased 12% – the biggest increase over a 9 month period since the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) began keeping records in 1975. In short, people are dying on our roads in record numbers. So what is being done to reverse this trend and what can you do to protect yourself?
First, the federal government intends to use infrastructure funds to push states to lower speed limits, improve road designs including better lighting and crosswalks, build dedicated bus and bike paths, etc. Of course, in addition to these improvements, the federal government hopes to spur more states into using speed cameras to help improve and increase enforcement.
Second, the data reveals another bad combination has been occurring: reckless driving has increased since the pandemic began and seatbelt use has declined. Seatbelts save roughly 15,000 lives per year. If you have stopped wearing yours for whatever reason, start wearing it again. Next, objectively examine your driving. Is your foot exceptionally heavy? Are you signaling turns and lane changes? Are you leaving sufficient space between you and the car in front of you? Are you texting and driving? Are you running red lights? Are you driving aggressively because you are running late? If so, make a commitment to change your driving behaviors.
Third, do you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM)? Yes, we write about this a lot but only because it is so important. I will not go into detail here but if you are not sure if you have UM/UIM or if you do not know to what I am referring, please read some other posts about this topic which can be found here, here and here. Then, call your insurance agent and get this important and relatively inexpensive coverage.
Fourth, check the working condition of your vehicle. Do you have sufficient tread on your tires and are they inflated properly? What is the condition of your brakes? Are the lights working correctly? Just as importantly, but often overlooked: are there any open recalls on your vehicle? By law, manufacturers are required to send owners notice of recalls but if you move and do not update your address with the manufacturer or you purchase a used vehicle and do not register your ownership with the manufacturer then you are unlikely to receive notice of the recall. To check to see if your vehicle is affected by any safety recalls, simply visit the NHTSA’s website and enter your vehicle’s information.
At the Law Offices of John Day, our award-winning lawyers help car accident victims every single day. We would love to help you too. We handle all car accident cases on a contingency basis, so we only get paid if we recover money for you and your family. For a free, no-obligation consultation, just give us a call at one of our three Middle Tennessee locations: