Motor vehicle deaths are on the rise, according to a new report released by the National Safety Council, NSC. Information gathered from 2016 indicates a significant rise in highway fatalities. It is estimated that approximately 400,000 people died in U.S. crashes in 2016. This is a 6% increase over 2015 and a 14% increase over 2014. That makes 2016 the deadliest year on American roads since 2007. In fact, this is the highest two-year increase in more than 50 years. The NSC has been keeping traffic data and has issued fatality estimates for 96 years.
Reasons for the Increase in Road Deaths
The NSC report states that the increase in deaths is likely due to a number of factors, including an increase of drivers on the roads. Speeding, distracted driving, and alcohol are among the most common reasons cited for crashes. An NSC survey found that drivers admitted to taking part in various activities that could be dangerous.
For example, 64% of those surveyed said they are comfortable speeding. 47% said they are okay with texting while behind the wheel. Impaired driving is also surprisingly acceptable: 13% admitted to having driven after smoking marijuana, and 10% have driven after consuming alcohol.
Improving Road Safety
There are a number of steps that can be taken to help improve safety for drivers on the road. Drivers need to review their skills because many have become complacent. Additionally, other measures can be implemented to help reduce road deaths. These include such things as speeding enforcement measures, putting more restrictive cell phone bans in place, improving seat belt laws, adopting a three-tiered driver’s licensing plan, implementing autonomous vehicles, ensuring motorcycle helmet laws, and others.
These issues require additional laws and better enforcement to help reduce the incidence of serious accidents and injuries. Much work must be done to lower the frequency and severity of dangerous accidents. The goal is to reduce fatalities to zero at some point in the future.
Fatalities and Serious Injuries
Many types of serious injuries result from highway accidents. Some of the most serious injuries include head trauma, neck and spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, broken bones, lacerations, and contusions. A number of injuries are life-threatening or may be incapacitating. Some people suffer lifelong disabilities that require expensive ongoing care. Additionally, there are a large number of fatalities associated with these accidents. The victims and their families may need to take legal action against the negligent party after an accident. The victim should recover money for damages that were incurred due to any injuries.
What to Do After a Serious Accident
After a highway accident, any injured parties should seek medical attention right away. Soon after the incident, the victim and his or her family should discuss the accident with a qualified personal injury attorney. Families deserve compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life, among other things. The law limits the time to file a lawsuit, so it is best to speak with an attorney as early as possible. Contact the Law Office of Patrick G. Shea today to schedule a consultation.