Injury Law Blog

Statistics show a rise in the number of traffic fatalities

California residents who are concerned about safety on the nation’s roadways may be interested in knowing about a report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on that topic. According to the NHTSA, the estimated number of traffic deaths in the U.S. recorded during the first nine months of 2015 suggest that the number is rising following years of steady decline. Fatalities increased by more than 9 percent over the comparable 2014 period.

The NHTSA administrator considers the data an indication that additional steps need to be taken before the situation becomes worse. In addition to addressing long-standing issues such as the failure to use seat belts and driving under the influence, he says that new initiatives are needed in order to drive behavioral change in matters related to traffic safety.

Between 2000 and 2014, traffic fatalities decreased a total of 22 percent with a 1.2 percent decrease occurring in the final year before the trend reversed. By region, the smallest increase in the first nine months of 2015, 2 percent, was recorded in the mid-Atlantic and Central states with a 16 percent increase noted in the Southeast.

The overwhelming majority of motor vehicle accidents are attributable to human factors, the NHTSA has found. These factors can include driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, texting and driving, going faster than the posted speed limit and other forms of negligent behavior. A person who is injured in an accident caused by a negligent motorist will often incur significant medical expenses and sustain other losses, and in some cases a personal injury attorney can be of assistance in pursuing damages from the at-fault driver.