17,775 is the number of deaths related to car accidents in the first half of 2016. The numbers have been released by the National Highway Traffic Administration, marking a 10.4% increase from the same part of 2015.
The deadliest year regarding traffic was 1969, in which 53,543 people lost their lives in car accidents. With technology ever increasing, the fatalities should have become insignificant by now. Only they seem to go up.
2008 saw its number of deadly car accidents go as high as 37,423, and that was the year of the Great Recession. Eight years later, present day, and we might be getting close to that number again. Fatalities increased by 7.2% from 2014 to 2015, but 2016 looks to increase that percentage.
Sure, it may be too early to declare “Carmageddon,” but it’s not a bad idea to look a little into the reasons for many of the accidents.
Technology keeps giving us better and safer cars, but it is the same technology that distracts us from keeping our eyes on the roads. In 2014, 2.2% drivers admitted to the habit of texting and driving at the same time.
2016 is also the year Pokémon GO took over the world (at least during summer), and drivers would not put down the addictive game even on the highway. The app has the possibility of detecting one’s speed, and in response to so many people playing it while driving, the developers have introduced a warning, which unfortunately can be quickly dismissed by tapping a button that says: “I’m a passenger.”
It would seem that smartphone developers should also work more on implementing certain restrictions to drivers. Of course, detecting speed isn’t really the solution, as that would be detrimental to people who are actually passengers or using public transportation.
Another way would be to slowly introduce self-driving cars. Many companies, like Tesla and Google already have such models on the market, but the transition would take time, and not many would agree to it.
People like to drive, and that’s a fact that will be hard to change, after more than a century of companies fighting to bring us the fastest and the most comfortable automobiles available. But if we’re to decrease car accidents, maybe more companies should be more like Volvo, and just concentrate on bringing out the safest.
Image source: Wikipedia
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