The past year's carnage has been brutal to watch – particularly the rising death count from the coronavirus.
It was also a notable year for another reason.
Over 42,000 people died in car accidents in the U.S. That is a sharp rise over previous years and the largest year-over-year increase on a miles-driven basis (24%) since 1924.
Many traffic safety experts are asking the obvious questions about these numbers. How could traffic deaths rise so sharply when traffic counts were so low for the year.
Many authorities point to increased vehicular speeds during the pandemic as the primary reason for the rise in fatalities.
But could there be another reason?
A group of researchers at Root Insurance believe they have another plausible explanation for the rise… Zoom conference calls.
As many of us know, frequent Zoom calls have become a staple of professional life during the pandemic.
In research involving over 1,800 adults, Root Insurance found that 54% of adult drivers acknowledge having difficulty concentrating on the road following these meetings – with younger drivers most affected.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety believes the Root researchers may be on to something. Officials from the Institute point out that Zoom calls often involve multitasking and distractions and are changing the way we function in various situations – particularly driving.
In effect, they believe the frequency of Zoom calls is leading to an increase in drivers doing one thing, driving, while having their minds somewhere else.
And that, like looking at a cell phone or playing with an in-car entertainment system, creates brain fog and impaired reactions to changes in our driving environment.
So, what's the solution?
Safety experts believe it's as simple as reminding people to stay sharp and to stay focused when driving – and be aware that our new work modes may be making us less safe on the roads.
If you or a loved one are ever in a car accident in Connecticut, know that the Connecticut car accident lawyers at RisCassi & Davis have been assisting people like you who've been injured in these accidents for over 60 years. And we have received both state and national recognition for our work in this area. If you are ever injured in an accident of any kind and would like a free consultation with one of our Connecticut injury lawyers, please contact us. There is no obligation.