While the number of 2014 traffic fatalities dropped slightly, an estimated increase in 2015 deaths is up 8.1 percent from the same time last year. These numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) serve as a wake-up call for drivers and pedestrians everywhere.
Declining Numbers in 2014
According to data from the NHTSA’s Fatal Analysis Reporting System, 32,675 people were killed in automotive accidents in 2014, a 0.1 percent decrease from 2013. A decrease, even though it is slight, is good news regarding traffic fatalities.
The data also provided a few additional details about auto accidents in 2014:
- For passenger vehicle occupants, 2014 was the safest year recorded since 1975.
- Pedestrian fatalities rose 3.1 percent from the previous year.
- Drunk driving deaths still make up about one-third of all traffic fatalities.
- Nearly one-half of vehicle occupant fatalities are due to occupants not wearing seatbelts.
- Human factors are the most important cause of 94 percent of accidents.
- Vehicle-related factors account for only 2 percent of collisions.
2015 Brings Increase
Unfortunately, it seems as though this downward trend may not continue. Preliminary estimates for 2015 indicate an increase in deaths within the first six months of the year. This estimate is an 8.1 percent increase from last year with the fatality rate rising by 4.4 percent.
Although NHTSA warns that half-year estimates can fluctuate, the predicted rise in fatalities is concerning and in contrast to 2014’s declining trend. It represents a need for action regarding road safety, including a concerted effort from law enforcement, car manufacturers, safety advocates and the government.
If you are injured in a car accident, contact a car accident lawyer near Fort Worth at Anderson Cummings right away.