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Why it seems like everyone is a bad driver right now

Officer Daniel Arteaga inspects the car that they were chasing, now crashed into a fence after hitting a fire hydrant in Chelsea, Massachusetts.
Officer Daniel Arteaga inspects the car that they were chasing, now crashed into a fence after hitting a fire hydrant in Chelsea, Massachusetts.

Car crashes are a part of American life. We’ve all seen the aftermath on a highway or know someone whose life was forever changed by a driver’s split-second decision. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than 9,500 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the first quarter of 2022. That puts the United States on track for the highest first quarter fatalities in more than 20 years.Traffic deaths have been on the rise since the onset of the pandemic, partly due to an increase in reckless driving on our roads. 

While traffic deaths have spiked, there are still thousands of people who survive. Rebekah Young was walking her dog in 2018 when an SUV ran her over at a crosswalk.

“I remember Sunday and waking up… and I literally had woken up from a dream in which I was dreaming that I had been hit by a vehicle,” Young told WAMU. “And you know, you come out of a dream and you’re kind of groggy, and you realize, ‘oh my God, thank goodness, this was just a dream.’ But it wasn’t. My husband was there and had to tell me five days afterward what had happened to me.”

We talk to Young about what happened to her and we ask the experts how to prevent it from happening to anyone else.

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Amanda Williams, Maya Garg