When gas prices dive, more people take to the roads. While it is unsurprising
that there is a correlation between the number of people on the roads
and the number of accidents and fatalities, economists are also predicting
that nice weather may be linked to rates of traffic fatalities.
At the annual meeting of the American Economic Association in San Francisco,
a pair of economists presented the results of an investigation into how
climate change may affect U.S. traffic accident rates over the next 100
years. The researchers analyzed data from approximately 46 million police-reported
accidents from 20 states between 1990 and 2010, along with weather from
2,607 stations. Unsurprisingly, they found that below-freezing temperatures,
or days with rain or snow, increased the risk of accidents involving injuries.
More unexpectedly, they also found that fatalities rose as weather improved.
In fact, there was a nine percent increase on days with temperatures above
80 degrees Fahrenheit compared to milder temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees.
The reason for this seems to be that people take advantage of the weather
to bike, walk, or ride motorcycles – all modes of transportation
that provide little to no protection in a crash. As average temperatures
are expected to climb over the next century as a result of greenhouse
gases, the researchers predicted that there will be a net increase of
approximately 650 traffic-related deaths each year in the U.S. by the
year 2100 – most of which are expected to be pedestrians, cyclists,
Read more about this research online via
Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs is Houston’s trusted
source of personal injury representation. If you have been injured or
have lost a loved one in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, please
contact a Houston auto accident lawyer today to talk about your legal
options. You may be entitled to pursue compensation in a personal injury
or wrongful death lawsuit.
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