Improving economic conditions and falling fuel prices have led to increased traffic congestion in Connecticut and other U.S. states, and more cars, trucks and SUVs on the nation's roads means more traffic accidents and traffic accident fatalities. Road deaths increased by an alarming 7 percent in 2015 after several years of steady falls, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that 2016 was an even more deadly year for motorists.
The increase in fatal car accidents has perplexed road safety organizations like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Automobile safety systems have become extremely sophisticated, but innovative accident avoidance systems have not been enough to keep traffic accident fatalities in check. The IIHS earlier credited car makers and safety technology when a study revealed that driver deaths had fallen dramatically in just three years, but subsequent research has revealed that these gains have been more than offset by higher traffic levels.
The IIHS studies government accident data to identify trends and compare the safety records of vehicle classes and individual models. The data indicates that even motorists who drive the latest and most technologically advanced vehicles are becoming involved in fatal crashes more often. Economists expect growth to continue and jobs to remain plentiful for the foreseeable future, and road safety advocates are expecting fatality figures to remain worryingly high as a result.
A disturbing increase in distracted driving has also contributed to rising traffic accident fatality rates. Motorists who are distracted rarely take evasive action, and the accidents they cause often occur at highway speeds. When distraction is suspected but police reports are inconclusive, experienced personal injury attorneys may study the information stored on modern vehicle black boxes or scrutinize cellphone records to determine what may have occurred in the moments before a crash.