Mississippi motorists may be aware that U.S. traffic accidents have significantly increased over the past seven years. However, a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicts that advanced collision avoidance systems will soon reverse that troubling trend.

Since 2011, U.S. car crashes have spiked by 30 percent, increasing by 3 to 4 percent each year. According to the report, the increase was caused by factors such as higher employment rates, Americans driving more miles, cellphone-related distracted driving and more states legalizing medical and recreational marijuana. To support these claims, the report cites a 2016 State Farm survey showing that the percentage of cellphone ownership among U.S. drivers increased from 52 percent in 2011 to 91 percent in 2016. It also cites a recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study that found police-reported crashes have increased 5 percent in states that legalized marijuana.

While these numbers are concerning, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch report predicts that advances in automotive collision avoidance technologies will soon overpower the factors behind the increase in traffic accidents and drive the number of crashes down. In fact, the firm believes the number of accidents will fall by as much as 20 to 30 percent by the 2030s. Collision avoidance technologies include rear parking sensors, automatic emergency braking systems, forward collision prevention systems, lane departure warning systems and blind spot monitoring. Experts say that 99 percent of all new cars and trucks will have forward collision prevention systems by 2022.

Individuals injured in car crashes caused by the negligence of another driver may require legal help to recover compensation for their losses. An attorney could evaluate a victim’s case and help file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. Typical amounts sought include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and property damage.  If you’ve been injured in a wreck,  contact George B. Ready for assistance.