Is Global Warming Partly to Blame for Rise in Fatal Car Accidents?November 15, 2017
Distracted driving wrecks continue to be a major problem in this country, fatally injuring thousands of people every year. Too many drivers use their cell phones to talk, send and receive texts, and check social media while they are driving, even though most states have laws prohibiting motorists from using handheld devices while operating a motor vehicle. New research suggests that there is another serious issue that it contributing to the rise in traffic fatalities. According to a new study, global warming may be partly to blame for the spike in fatal car accidents.
Retired Yale University epidemiologist Leon Robertson explained how global warming can impact traffic accidents. As the temperatures rise due to the heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, there is a tendency for more people to be out on the roads. The combination of warmer temperatures, increased rainfall, and more people driving more miles than previous years has contributed to the rise in traffic fatalities, said Robertson.
Data from the Transportation Department shows that there was a 7.2 percent rise in traffic fatalities in 2015, totaling over 35,000. This spike in fatalities marked the largest increase in 50 years, and the study found that the warmer weather largely to blame. Considering the fact that the number of traffic fatalities has been on a constant decline since the 1970s, this increase is cause for concern.
Other Factors That Are to Blame
According to the Transportation Department, human factors like speeding, drunk driving, and the aforementioned distracted driving were the main causes of traffic fatalities in 2015. The department also found that fatalities rise with the temperature. Lower gas prices also impacts the number of people on the roads. In 2015, the average price of gas was $2.52 per gallon, which is 90 cents below 2014 gas prices. In 2015, there was a 3.5 percent increase in the number of vehicle miles traveled, which was the largest increase to date.
Transportation officials argue that there is no clear connection between gas prices and traffic fatalities. However, they did find that there were more fatalities during times of low gas prices and periods of low unemployment. Although global warming is considered by most to be a real and significant issue, it is unlikely that it is the main cause of fatal car accidents.
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If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in a car accident, you are urged to contact the highly experienced Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Car accidents are caused by a range of negligent behavior, including distracted driving, drunk driving, drowsy driving, and other potentially dangerous behavior. We will fight hard to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
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