Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) December 11, 2021 – During the 17 years from 2000 to 2017, the rate of unintentional fatalities has steadily increased to 40 percent in the United States. And unfortunately, according to The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the rate of people experiencing accidents has not slowed in recent years, even during the current pandemic which began in 2020. This data is surprising considering the rate of fatal motor vehicle accidents in metropolitan areas has continued to rise even though a large percentage of the population continues to work remotely.
Multiple governmental research agencies are working to determine the root cause of the spikes in fatal accidents to better understand the changes in human behaviors that are causing an increase in risks of harm. Researchers initially thought that trucking accidents were increasing due to increasing demands placed on the commercial drivers that were healthy enough to continue working during these times. Although this might be true, this doesn’t help explain why the rate of motorcycle crashes, pedestrian accidents, and collisions involving children are also at an all-time high.
A recent article released by Forbes details that overall, the rate of riskier behavior has increased during the pandemic. More people are consuming alcohol, cannabinoids, and opioids than they had done before the stay-at-home orders and currently ongoing remote work conditions. The Huffington Post reported that similar trends have occurred across the European Union as the rate of accidents involving reckless behavior as a contributing factor has continued to rise. Additional research shows that people are engaging in negligent behavior to combat the feeling of being locked down and to help them feel liberated.
A deeper look into historical trends reveals that economic downturns generally lead to an increase in stress as people are often more idle, isolated, and depressed. At this time, even those with more economic means are left feeling restricted from freely navigating the world as they did previously. Borders are often closing without warning, plane flights are being delayed or canceled at alarming rates, and social events have all but disappeared.
Beyond people being freer to engage in behaviors in an attempt to feel liberated, the current health crises have also placed many workers in increasingly unsafe work environments. As we’ve all come to understand, the pandemic has disrupted nearly every aspect of the global supply chain. From goods being grown, produced, housed, shipped, and received, the time involved has slowed or stopped altogether. Many companies are operating with skeleton crews, placing an unsafe demand on existing workers. In the offshore shipping industry, the vessels are being operated without the proper equipment or required amount of personnel, resulting in a spike in the rate of maritime accidents. Similarly, construction sites and projects are being furthered in violation of OSHA guidelines subjecting people to a higher risk of fatal accidents.
Although the pandemic continues to impact our lives, there are ways of coping with the stress healthily to make you, and the people you care about, more resilient. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests taking breaks from listening to potentially upsetting news, taking additional steps to care for your body, taking time to unwind, and engaging in connecting with others and your community. You can learn more about the CDCs crisis resources on their website. If experiencing a situation requiring legal assistance, feel free to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to learn about legal rights and options.
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