Traffic Accident Rates Continue to Rise
It's about more than texting while driving
A new comprehensive report published by the NHTSA showed that traffic accident fatalities are once again on the rise - in comparison with previous years. In fact, 2016 showed some of the highest accident rates since 2007. The primary cause of this increase in accidents was not due to distracted driving behaviors - such as texting while driving. Fatalities caused by distracted driving had actually decreased in 2016, when compared to statistics in 2015.
According to the report, the continued increase in traffic accident fatalities is because of other unsafe driving behaviors such as speeding, driving without a seatbelt and driving under the influence of alcohol. Though distracted driving accidents decreased, speeding related fatalities increased by 4.0%. Fatalities that resulted from not wearing a seatbelt increased by 4.6%. Motorcyclist fatalities increased by 5.1%. However, the most staggering statistic is the increased rate of pedestrian accident fatalities, with a 9.0% increase. That's more than two times the rate of any other statistic listed in this report.
The NHTSA has partnered up with the National Safety Council as well as other organizations at the state and federal level to create the Road to Zero Coalition. The goal for the Road to Zero is simple: end traffic fatalities across the US by 2050. To achieve this, the Coalition is focusing on a few specific methods: recognizing that traffic accidents are preventable, investing in and supporting driving safety technology and uniting many different organizations with this same goal. By working together, they believe, they can achieve what one organization couldn't do alone.
There is still more that can be done
Most accidents are a result of human error. A motorist who drives a little too fast or forgets to check their blind spot before merging into another lane greatly increases his chance of causing an accident. Along with the increase in fatality statistics, 2016 saw an increase in vehicle miles traveled, in comparison to previous years, which can contribute to the rise in fatalities. The more vehicle miles traveled, the greater the chance of an accident on the road.
Using the statistics in this report, we can continue to take steps to improve road safety, such as creating new traffic regulations and advanced safety technologies. These technologies include back-up cameras, as well as lane departure and blind spot detection warnings. However, even when driving cars with these safety features, it is the motorist's responsibility to be aware of their surroundings, especially of bicyclists and pedestrians who do not have the protection of a car in the case of an accident.
If you were injured in an accident, contact Pajcic and Pajcic today. Our car accident lawyers have handled over 9,000 cases. They have the skills and expertise to get you the full compensation you deserve.