The National Safety Council said yesterday that U.S. motor-vehicle accidents spiked to high levels in 2017, following a similar spike in 2016, in spite of more new vehicles being equipped with collision avoidance technology. The study pointed to a surge in driver distraction-related crashes as well as increased overall miles driven as causes. Thus, the anticipated drop in Wrongful Death and serious personal injury claims related to auto accidents has not materialized and, in fact, a trend in the opposite direction is apparent.
The trend of an increase in car crashes resulting in wrongful deaths and serious personal injuries suggests that drivers and owners of all vehicles should consider increasing their vehicle insurance coverages. Increasing liability insurance limits offers more protection against significant asset loss of owners and operators of vehicles deemed to be at least partially at-fault for an auto accident. Likewise, increasing Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) coverage provides more financial protection for drivers and passengers who suffer serious bodily injuries or wrongful death if the at-fault vehicle either lacked insurance coverage or had insufficient insurance coverage. For the same reason, Medical Payments coverage should be increased to the highest limit available and adding such riders as "homemaker services" and loss of income coverage will provide greater financial protection. Since the cost of insurance per thousand dollars of coverage drops as the coverage limits increase, obtaining greater insurance coverage can be very cost effective.