While it is still true that driving in a car is much safer now than it was decades ago, the high-water mark for automobile safety, at least in terms of the frequency of traffic deaths, was actually four years ago, back in 2014.
Since that time, several factors have been pulling the number of fatal car accidents, or at least the overall number of fatalities, up. One of these facts seems to be an epidemic in the number of deadly hit-and-run accidents.
Since 2012, the number of fatalities due to hit-and-run accidents has spiked by over one-third, from 1,512 deaths in 2012 to 2,046 deaths in 2016, the last year final statistics were available. Since, 2009, the number has actually increased by 60 percent, and it is now the highest it has ever been since 1975, when government agencies started to track these numbers.
Although one could rightly say that hit-and-run accidents are a nationwide problem, they are a particular problem in Nevada, where the rate of fatal hit-and-run accidents is over 2.0 per 100,000 residents. This ranks Nevada high among the states when it comes to the frequency of deadly hit-and-runs.
Why the number of these tragic hit-and-run accidents is on the increase puzzles experts, since there seems to be no real rhyme or reason to the trend. Some have speculated that distracted driving is to blame, while others think it might just be a consequence of urbanization, meaning cars, pedestrians and bicycles are sharing space in close quarters.
Whatever the reason, though, the families of victims will no doubt spend financial and emotional capital recovering from these sorts of tragedies. While no amount of money can bring a loved one back, there are legal options for recovering compensation even if the driver is never found.