Written by Personal Injury Lawyer Larry Lapidus
You may have missed it, but in late August, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released an app called SaferCar. With a larger goal of making roads safer, the SaferCar app keeps you up to date on any manufacturer recalls or identified issues so you can get them taken care of quickly.
All you need is the make, model, year, and VIN of your vehicle (including motorcycles), and the app will alert you if or when there’s an issue. But it’s not limited just to the vehicles themselves–SaferCar will let you know if there are any problems or recalls associated with child car seats, tires, and other equipment. Simply add your specific information to the app, and the NHTSA takes care of the rest.
Still a Long Way to Go
The NHTSA should be commended for creating an initiative such as the SaferCar app. It really is an intelligent way for anyone to keep their vehicle and associated equipment up to date and safe. That alone could potentially eliminate many unexpected vehicle or part failures that lead to auto accidents, injuries, or even death.
Unfortunately, the NHTSA can’t drive for everyone–it’s still up to individual motorists to practice safe driving, and as long as that’s the case, there are going to be accidents.
Even with preventative measures such as the SaferCar app in place, we continue to see statistics such as this: as of December 8, 2020, there have been 36 traffic-related fatalities in Washington, DC–at the same time in 2019, that number was 25. That’s a 44% increase in auto accident deaths.
Far Too Many Fatal Auto Accidents Involving Teens
Sadly, numbers like those in DC are not limited to the District. In neighboring Virginia, the overall number of crashes has decreased dramatically, partly due to fewer vehicles on the road throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, crashes have decreased by 45% overall in Virginia through mid-October of 2020 based on statistics from the same time frame from 2015 to 2019. But in something of an anomaly, accident-related deaths have increased sharply from 2019.
“It is of great concern to see that the number of fatalities involving both speed and unrestrained travelers has increased by 78% during this time period compared to 2019,” said Shannon Valentine, Virginia’s secretary of transportation, in June.
This trend has been alarming for teenage drivers. Despite logic telling you that students would be on the road less frequently due to virtual learning, closed college campuses, and other places that might attract teen crowds, teen car crash fatalities in Virginia reached 55 through mid-October (compared to 51 last year, according to AAA).
Short Trips Often Lead to Accidents
One way to decrease the number of car accidents is to reduce the number of unnecessary car trips. Dolphin Technologies, an Austrian telematics provider, conducted a study throughout 2018 and 2019 of 3.2 million car trips by 40,000 people. During this span, 1,986 accidents occurred. Of these 3.2 million trips, 87% lasted 30 minutes or less, and only 1% of the trips took an hour or longer.
Dolphin concluded that, among trips that were a total of 10 minutes or less, 25% of accidents occurred within the first three minutes of the trip, while another 14% occurred within the first six minutes. That means nearly 40% of these crashes took place within the first six minutes of a drive. This means, if you can avoid driving on trips of six minutes or fewer, accidents could potentially drop by nearly 40%. Alternatives include walking and biking, which offer the added benefits of great exercise and public transportation.
The Car Accident Lawyers in Maryland and DC
Over the years, The Lapidus Law Firm has handled many different kinds of accident claims–from motorcycle crashes to hit-and-run accidents, drunk driving wrecks, trucking crashes, and pedestrian accidents.
That’s why we give every auto accident case the personal attention and effort it deserves. You, as a client who is already dealing with so much, deserve that care and attention. When you have The Lapidus Law Firm representing you, we treat you like family and work tirelessly to get a fair and reasonable settlement.
A New App to Help Curb Car Accidents
The NHTSA’s SaferCar app is definitely worth the download (it is free, after all). It’s imperative to know that the vehicle you rely on to get you from point A to point B safely is fully functioning and free of defective parts. Learning about these types of issues early and being able to have them fixed before they become a problem) is invaluable toward improving road safety and reducing car accidents.
However, the SaferCar app won’t protect you against a negligent driver. So, if you find yourself injured in an auto accident caused by another driver, call us at (202) 785-5111 or (301) 852-7500. We’re making justice work for you.