Are accidents rates increasing in America? What is causing rates to change and what is being done to stem the rising tide? Unfortunately, accident and fatality rates are increasing. The increasing number of accidents can be attributed to both economic influences and driver behaviors.
In 2016, there were 37,461 automobile accident fatalities. This was a 5.6% increase over the number of fatalities recorded in 2015, but it is not the most drastic increase recorded. From 2014 to 2015, the number of fatalities increased 10.5% from 32,744 to 35,845 -- the sharpest increase since 1946.
From 2005 to 2011, accident fatalities decreased significantly from 43,510 in 2005 to 32,479 at the end of 2011. One reason that fatality rates have increased in the years since is the recovery of the economy and lower gas prices, both of which lead to more vacations and more road trips. Since 2005, the total annual number of road miles traveled has increased from 2.9 billion miles to just over 3.2 billion.
Speed related fatalities increased 4% to 10,111. Drunk driving deaths also increased 1.7% to 10,497. The number of deaths involving failure to wear a seat belt increased 4.6% to 10,428. Of considerable concern is the 9% increase in pedestrian fatalities and 1.3% increase in bicyclist fatalities. These are the highest rates seen by any automobile accident lawyer since 1990 and 1991, respectively.
However, some accident rates are declining. Distracted driving deaths in 2016 decreased 2.2% to 3,450, as an increasing number of states banned the use of handheld cell phones. Drowsy driving deaths were also down 3.5%.
Rising rates have caused alarm at the National Safety Council which aims to end roadway fatalities in the US by 2050. The NSC has created a coalition of city planners, automobile manufacturers, insurers, and law enforcement to achieve this goal. The Road to Zero initiative is an ambitious road safety project, and data shows that it has a long way to go before it will make our roads safer.
Brad Pistotnik Law is an automobile accident lawyer, attorney, and abogado with a law firm with attorneys, lawyers and abogados who represent clients in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Illinois who experience personal injuries in a motor vehicle accident and the survivors of those who suffer a wrongful death. Whether the accident occurred in Wichita, Liberal, Garden City, Bucklin, Coldwater, Ashland, Medicine Lodge, Stafford, Kiowa, Alva, Buffalo, Kinsley, Pratt, Cherokee, Matfield Green, Wilsey, Americus, Lakin, Emporia, Augusta, Goddard, Ulysses, Dodge City, Satanta, Winfield, Wellington, Arkansas City, Manhattan, Lawrence, Junction City, Salina, Colby, Hays, Pittsburg, Coffeyville, Kingman, Pratt, Hutchinson, Johnson City, Big Bow, Syracuse, Kendall, Ryus, Satanta, Manter, Florence, Scott City, Pence, Elkader, Leoti, Tribune, Friend, Stockton, Phillipsburg, Hill City, Quinter, Hoxie, Gem, Colby, Manning, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Topeka, Norman, Edmund, Paul's Valley, Lawton, Weatherford, Watonga, Cushing, Hobart, Lawrence, or elsewhere in these states, our automobile accident lawyer team works to secure the compensation that helps our clients recover from motor vehicle accident injuries.
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