2016 and 2017 Reflect Steepest Increase in Vehicle Fatalities in Five Decades
Texas Is One Such State where Higher Speed Limits May Have Contributed to a Rise in Deaths: Between 2015 and 2017, the National Safety Council Estimates that the Number of Traffic Fatalities Jumped Seven Percent Here
Although vehicle fatalities slightly decreased in 2017, unfortunately, 2016 and 2017 still represented the steepest two-year increase in more than 50 years. Given the advancement of auto safety technologies such as automatic emergency brakes, electronic stability systems, review cameras, and other technology, traffic-related deaths—including those of cyclists and pedestrians—are not falling as much as one would expect. This is likely due to distracted driving, as well as higher speed limits in some areas.
2016 still remains the deadliest year on U.S. roads since 2007: 4.6 million people were seriously injured, costing $432 billion in medical expenses, administrative expenses, employer costs, losses in wages and productivity, and property damage. More and more Americans are dying on highways and roads, and this has caused a significant amount of alarm.
Distracted driving unfortunately remains one of the biggest threats on the road in every state: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it claimed close to 3,500 lives and contributed to 400,000 injuries in 2015 alone.
While the problem has traditionally been people making calls or sending texts, new technologies—such as car Wi-Fi and new apps—have led to a steep increase in overall internet use in vehicles, which has contributed to the surge in deaths. A number of negligence lawsuits filed over crashes have included teenagers recording Snapchat videos in particular right before the collision. Infotainment systems, smartphones in general, and other gadgets are also distracting too many people while they are driving.
In an effort to decrease the number of overall vehicle accidents, the National Safety Council recommends:
- Asking your lawmakers to protect travelers on our state roadways via putting in place more traffic safety laws and strengthen enforcement of existing laws, such as the use of seatbelts and helmets on motorcycles;
- Fixing recalls immediately;
- Learning more about your vehicle’s safety systems and disabling any tech distractions that could lead to distraction for your family members;
- Practicing defensive driving;
- Recognizing the dangers of impaired driving; and
- Staying engaged in teens’ driving habits.
It is no secret that motor vehicle accidents can cause devastating, serious injuries that can affect you and your family for the rest of your life. Our car accident attorneys serve clients in Houston and surrounding areas who have suffered loss and personal injuries due to the negligence of another driver. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.