For the first time in about 15 years, the rate of deadly auto accidents in the U.S. surged, according to the latest estimates from officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Although the initial data had indicated that deadly crashes on U.S. roadways increased by about 8 percent in 2015, the latest findings indicate that this jump was closer to 9.3 percent.
Specifically, NHTSA officials have noted that, according to these findings:
- There were at least 2,200 more traffic-related deaths in the U.S. in 2015 (when about 26,000 people were killed in traffic crashes, as opposed to 2014 when nearly 23,800 traffic-related deaths occurred).
- In 2015, there was roughly 3.5 percent increase in the number of miles driven on U.S. roads. And this, some have speculated, may be the result of lower gas prices coupled with lower unemployment rates.
“The apparent increase in 2015 is a signal that we need to do more,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has stated in regards to these findings.
Expressing similar concerns about this surge in fatal auto accidents, Mark Rosekind, NHTSA Administrator, has noted that:
We’re seeing red flags across the U.S. and we’re not waiting for the situation to develop further… It’s time to drive behavioral changes in traffic safety and that means taking on new initiatives and addressing persistent issues like drunk driving and failure to wear seat belts.
Preliminary Explanations for the Jump in Deadly Auto Accidents
Although regulators have yet to identify the primary reasons for the surge in deadly auto accidents in 2015, they have noted that “human factors contribute to 94 percent of crashes according to decades of NHTSA research.”
Just some of these human factors include:
- Impaired driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving while fatigued (which tends to be more of an issue with commercial motorists like truckers)
- Aggressive driving, including speeding
- Failure to wear seatbelts, which can cut the risk of suffering a deadly injury in half if or when traffic crashes occur.
And that is why regulators are now planning to hold a series of “regional summits” across the nation, culminating in a summit in Washington, to “generate additional approaches to combat [motorist] behavioral issues that contribute to road deaths.”
What do you think about the NHTSA’s latest findings about traffic deaths and/or the plans to address these fatalities? Post your opinions on our Facebook & Google+ pages.
Contact an Experienced Denver Car Accident Attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C.
If you have been injured in an auto accident – or if you have lost a loved one in fatal traffic crash, you can turn to a Denver car accident attorney at Bell & Pollock, P.C. for experienced help advocating your rights and pursuing justice.
At Bell & Pollock, our lawyers are proud to be champions of the people, providing victims of negligence with superior legal representation to help them maximize their financial recovery. Although we know that no amount of money can ever make up for permanent injuries or the loss of a loved one, our lawyers also know that pursuing a car accident case can be the key to securing a sense of justice.
To find out more about how we can help you, call us at (303) 795-5900 or email our firm using the contact form on this page to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you will receive clear, honest legal advice about your case, your rights and your best options for moving forward.