For nearly three years now, much information points to more dangerous roads for drivers in Minnesota and throughout the nation. This comes at a time when many vehicles have improved measures for safety such as more airbags and better accident-avoidance technology.
Unraveling the mysteries of rising accidents in recent years often points to driver error and larger vehicles.
The role of reckless driving
An article by CNBC News points to a rise in traffic fatalities in 2021 as evidence that vehicle accidents continue to mount. Going back to 2019, fatalities have risen by nearly 20 percent. Federal data continues to show that reckless and distracted drivers cause many accidents.
Reckless driving often takes the form of higher rates of speeding, as well as more extreme incidents of speeding. Distracted driving comes from more people using cell phones while behind the wheel, resulting in a lower rate of concentration on roadways.
The role of larger and heavier vehicles
Larger vehicles result in more fatalities and more serious accidents that lead to critical injuries. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the weight and horsepower of vehicles have reached all-time highs. This combination results in more damage to pedestrians, cyclists and those driving smaller cars.
At the same time, more electric vehicles on the roads come equipped with weighty batteries. This results in vehicles heavier than traditional internal combustion cars, SUVs and trucks. Newer EVs come with the latest in safety technology, but they still carry unique risks. For example, the data remains unsettled on how frequently batteries catch fire, endangering occupants of the vehicle.
Measures to reduce vehicle accidents consider multiple factors. Effective improvements often take time to implement.