Auto accidents can happen under a variety of circumstances with various causes. Oklahomans might be under the impression that there is a direct link between the number of vehicles on the road and the number of accidents with injuries and fatalities. That belief was put to the test in 2020 as the ongoing health crisis led to dramatic changes in how people live and work. Fewer vehicles on the road was expected to reduce the number of crashes. The statistics show otherwise. This should be considered when heading out on the road. After an accident, it is also important to think about the options to recover compensation for all that was lost.
Three dozen more people died in Oklahoma auto accidents in 2020 vs. 2019
The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office says that there were 36 more fatalities on state roadways in 2020 when compared to 2019. The statistics were accrued through late December and could rise after full analysis. This rise came about even as traffic was down across the nation. Factors that are believed to have sparked the rise in fatal crashes are distraction, recklessness and drivers who are under the influence.
The holidays are always a major concern for fatal accidents as people tend to get behind the wheel after attending parties and gatherings. The pandemic interfered with that, but the surprising results of the number of road fatalities was believed to have been due to drivers feeling greater freedom to flout rules and laws. Drivers under the influence is a year-round problem regardless of the societal situation. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers acknowledge the dangers of driving drunk, but get behind the wheel after drinking anyway. Their survey showed that 94% of drivers stated how risky it is with 10% confessing to have done so in the previous month.
Understanding the importance of legal assistance after an auto accident
When there is an auto accident, those involved can face many challenges in the aftermath. There may be long-term damage, the need for medical care and treatment, surgeries, the inability to care for oneself, problems getting back to work, being unable to care for a family, and more. Whether the injuries were obvious with spinal cord damage, head trauma, broken bones or cuts, or there were soft tissue injuries that do not manifest until later, it is wise to have legal advice from the start. Consulting with a firm with experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases is the first step.