An estimated 35,200 people lost their lives on U.S. roadways in 2015. Total traffic deaths rose 7.7 percent over the previous year, according to preliminary data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
This increase is the highest year-over-year increase in the past 50 years, according to the National Safety Council. Approximately 100 people are killed in traffic accidents each day across the country; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that compared to 19 other high income countries, the U.S. has the highest rate of traffic deaths.
The highest increase of traffic fatalities was found among bicyclists and pedestrians. New initiatives are in the works to protect this vulnerable subset of roadway users, according to the NHTSA.
With lower gas prices and a stronger economy, more Americans are driving than in years past. While this factor does play a role in increasing traffic deaths, the NHTSA found that 94 percent of auto accidents are the result of a human behavior or error. Actions such as driving under the influence, speeding and distracted driving are behaviors the NHTSA aims to improve in efforts to lower annual traffic deaths.
Lack of seatbelt use is a significant contributor to the accident death rate. If seatbelt use was at 100 percent throughout the country, an estimated 3,000 lives could be saved every year. In regards to drunk driving, if all alcohol-impaired driving was eliminated, as many as 10,000 deaths could be prevented annually.
While preliminary data must be further analyzed to determine final totals, the NHTSA’s early projections show that nine of 10 U.S. regions had a higher number of traffic fatalities in 2015 than in 2014. Finalized data will be released by the agency later this summer.
If you have lost a loved one in a fatal traffic accident, the attorneys of Anderson Cummings will fight to recover the compensation your family deserves. Let us pursue justice on your behalf – our Fort Worth injury lawyers will fight to maximize your compensation and hold responsible drivers accountable for their negligent actions.
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