Despite all of the advances in automobile safety, traffic-related deaths are on the rise. Over 40,000 people died in automobile crashes in 2016. According to new estimates from the National Safety Council, some factors contributing to the increase include distracted driving and not taking proper precautions. 47 percent of motorists are comfortable with texting while driving, while 16 percent do not wear seat belts, and 10 percent drive under the influence of alcohol or marijuana. The NSC is calling for a total ban of cell phone use while driving, a stronger measure than Illinois’ push for hands-free driving. NCS also is pushing lawmakers to make collision avoidance technology like automatic braking standard in all vehicles.
Bloomberg News reports US motor vehicle deaths hit 40,200 last year, up six percent from 2015 and 14 percent from 2014. The increase marks a trend also identified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which reported an eight percent spike in deadly crashes in the first nine months of 2016 compared to the first nine months of 2015.
An increase in distracted driving is just one of the many causes outlined by The New York Times. While cars and phones now offer advanced voice controls and other features intended to keep drivers’ eyes on the road, apps like Facebook, Google Maps, Snapchat and others have created new temptations that drivers and passengers find hard to resist.
Government officials and safety advocates also argue that, aside from distracted driving, the increase in deaths has been caused by more lenient enforcement of seatbelt, drunken driving and speeding regulations by authorities and a reluctance by lawmakers to pass more restrictive measures.
About half of all traffic fatalities involve unbelted occupants, and almost a third involve drivers who were impaired by drugs or alcohol, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The vast majority of accidents happen because a driver makes a mistake or does something that he or she was not supposed to do, such as driving impaired, distracted, or recklessly. A personal injury attorney can help those who have been injured by a negligent driver. By contacting an experienced attorney today, accident victims will have somebody on their side who can protect their rights. If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, contact us today.