Anyone who has spent time behind the wheel of a motor vehicle understands that there is a risk of suffering a car accident everyone time the rubber meets the road; however, some accidents are more serious than others. While some car and truck accidents may be little more than fender benders, a fatal accident could occur as well. For the second year in a row, the numbers released from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates an increase in the number of traffic deaths; however, this isn’t entirely due to texting while driving. Therefore, what other factors play a role?
How Much did the Car Accident Fatality Rate Increase?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tracks the number of fatal accidents that occur on a yearly basis. In 2016, over 37,000 people died in car accidents across the country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this is the highest number since 2007, almost a decade ago. Furthermore, this increase represents a jump of over 5 percent from the prior year’s numbers. This comes on the heels of a jump of over 8 percent in 2015. That 8 percent figure was the largest jump since the 1960s, over 50 years ago. This jump in the rate of fatal accidents represents a serious concern for both the government and drivers everywhere.
Did Texting While Driving Play a Role in this Increase?
In recent years, texting while driving has been focused on as one of the premier causes of car accidents across the country. Obviously, if someone is texting while operating a motor vehicle, their fingers and eyes are on their phone, not on the steering wheel or the road; however, according to the figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the percentage of fatalities from distracted driving actually fell by just over 2 percent. This is an encouraging sign because it demonstrates that people are taking the warnings of officials and activist groups seriously. Nobody should ever be texting while operating a car, truck, or bus. Furthermore, in some states, this could be considered illegal.
What Other Factors Play a Role in Auto Accidents?
If the jump wasn’t due to texting or talking on the phone while driving, what vehicular behaviors played a role? Unfortunately, drunk driving continues to represent a serious issue to drivers everywhere. Based on the stats from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving was responsible for the most deaths of any behaviors when it comes to driving. Nobody shoulder ever drive while drunk. Remember, the legal limit of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08. Other issues that played a role in this jump in fatal accidents include speeding and failure to wear seat belts while riding in a motor vehicle. Everyone should make sure to wear a seatbelt while riding in a car just in case a car accident develops.
An Increase in Mileage from Prior Years
Another factor playing a role in the jump in the rate of fatal car accidents was the mileage driven last year. The total number of miles driven by Americans last year jumped by over 2 percent from the prior year. In 2015, the trend was the same, jumping just over 2 percent. Perhaps, the average individual is putting in more miles than prior years. On the other hand, there could be an increase in the number of drivers on the road. Regardless, if more miles are being driven, this presents more opportunities for an accident to occur. People should also be aware that driving more miles can lead an increase in fatigue and decrease the ability of someone to take evasive action in response to changing driving conditions.
What Should Be Done?
If the number of car accidents and the rate of fatalities is increasing, something needs to be done to put a stop to these terrible accidents. Fortunately, funding continues to be provided for vehicular safety technologies that can reduce the rate of accidents. This includes lane departure assist technology and cross-traffic alert systems. These are impressive pieces of technology that can save lives; however, Americans need to invest in these devices when they are looking for a vehicle. Perhaps, one day, these devices can reduce or completely remove human error when it comes to driving, helping to save lives. It will be interesting to see what kinds of new safety devices will be developed next.
Drivers Everywhere Must Put Safety First
While these technology devices are important and can save countless lives, it falls upon the drivers to do everything in their power to place safety first every time they get behind the wheel of a car. Nobody should ever drive after they have been drinking. Seat belts should be worn consistently while driving or riding in a car. Everyone should take a break from the cell phone while driving. Speed limits exist for a reason and should be obeyed. These are only a few of the many safety tips that need to be followed to ensure that the driver and those around them are safe on the roads.
An Experienced Lawyer Can Provide Assistance
Any individual who has been hurt or injured in a car accident should consider reaching out to an experienced attorney. The medical bills resulting from a car accident can be expensive and it is important to speak with a lawyer to discuss all options. Those with questions and concerns should reach out to GOM Law today, located in McAllen, TX. A friendly professional is always standing by to provide assistance to individuals and families who require it. The effects that come from suffering an auto accident can be challenging, particularly if someone has been injured. That is why a caring representative from GOM Law is always available to lend assistance to individuals and families who need it.