Car accident fatalities have been rising since 2018

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2024 | Car Accident Injuries |

Government accident statistics reveal that the roads in West Virginia and around the country have become far more dangerous in recent years. According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, emergency services personnel were dispatched to 247 fatal accident scenes in West Virginia in 2019. That figure rose to 249 in 2020, 257 in 2021 and 268 in 2022. Around the country, the number of deadly accidents rose from 36,835 in 2018 to 42,795 in 2022.


Car accidents are now the leading cause of death in the United States for people under the age of 55, and many of the approximately 40,000 people who lose their lives on the nation’s roads each year are killed in crashes involving speeding drivers. Excessive speed is a factor in 29% of the fatal accidents in the United States, and speed-related deaths have been increasing steadily since 2018. More rigorous policing could reduce speeding and speed-related car accidents, and drivers may be less likely to engage in this reckless behavior when cameras are installed that automatically take photographs of vehicles that exceed the posted limit. However, cameras will not reduce speed-related deaths in West Virginia because state law prohibits the use of photo-monitoring devices to enforce traffic laws.

Drunk driving

The number of deadly crashes involving drivers impaired by alcohol has increased by a worrying 32% since 2019 despite harsh drunk driving penalties and the rising popularity of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. Almost a third of the fatal accidents that took place in West Virginia in 2021 involved a driver who was impaired by alcohol, and 18% of them involved a motorist with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15% or higher.

Reckless behavior

Advances in automobile safety equipment, improved road designs and ride-sharing services that allow intoxicated individuals to get home safely should be making the nation’s roads less dangerous, but government accident statistics suggest that they are not. Traffic accident deaths surged in 2018 and have remained high ever since, and reckless behavior like speeding and drunk driving is primarily to blame.