Car crash fatalities have been in steady decline for a decade, falling to a record low in 2014. However, early reports on 2015 crash data indicate that last year saw a steep rise in fatal car accidents. Federal officials are troubled by the uptick and urge drivers to exercise precautions while driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,675 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes on U.S. roadways in 2014. An additional 2.3 million were injured. The number of roadway deaths of motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians has dropped steadily from 43,510 in 2005. However, 2012 was an exception to the general trend, when there was a four percent increase in fatalities.
These numbers are even more striking when you consider that the total number of miles driven is increasing each year. Last year, drivers traveled an estimated 27.3 million more miles than the previous year, representing an increase of 0.9 percent, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Yet the number of fatalities has remained in steady decline.
More Fatal Car Accidents in 2015
Estimates for the first half of 2015 signal a sharp increase in fatalities and federal officials hope that this is just an exception to an otherwise decreasing trend. Projections based on the first six months of data indicate that 2015 may have seen an 8.1 percent increase in traffic deaths.
Federal officials have come forward to urge everyone with a responsibility for road safety to do their part, including federal, state and local governments, law enforcement, vehicle manufacturers, safety advocates, drivers and others sharing the road. Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, attributes the 2015 rise to impaired driving, failure to use seat belts and speeding. Also, only 14 states currently prohibit the use of hand-held cellphones by drivers to deter distracted driving. Requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets would likely save 700 lives per year, yet only 19 states currently require them. Furthermore, more driving is expected as gas prices plummet—and more driving means an increased chance for car accidents and fatalities.
Federal and state government are taking action to prevent a continued rise in fatal car crashes. States struggle to bolster their safety education and enforcement programs against a lack of funding. NHTSA has announced that it will hold five regional meetings across the U.S. in early 2016 (February and March) to brainstorm how to combat the behavioral issues behind 94 percent of roadway deaths. These behavioral issues are the root cause of drunken, drugged, distracted and drowsy driving, as well as speeding and failure to use safety features.
Cherry Hill Car Accident Lawyers at Law Offices of Richard DiTomaso Pursue Compensation for Accident Victims
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, no amount of financial compensation can restore what you have lost. At DiTomaso Law, we pursue personal injury and wrongful death claims to ensure that responsible parties are held accountable for their actions and cover stressful costs associated with your loss. Our Cherry Hill car accident lawyers are prepared to assist you in this difficult time. With offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Center City Philadelphia, we represent car accident victims and their families throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Mount Holly and Camden County. For a free consultation, call us at 856-414-0010 or contact us online.