According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), last year was the deadliest year on American roads since 2008. Traffic deaths increased 7.7 percent from 32,675 deaths in 2014 to 35,200 deaths in 2015. This unfortunate trend continued across all types of traffic accidents. Bicyclist deaths were up 13 percent, pedestrian deaths increased 10 percent and motorcycle accidents increased 9 percent.
What are the reasons for this increase?
According to the NHTSA, traffic deaths tend to increase when the economy is stronger and gas prices are cheaper. Both of these factors contribute to more miles travelled, which in turn contribute to more accidents. With this said, these factors do not completely account for this increase in deaths. While the increase in total vehicle miles increased 3.5 percent, the number of deaths increased 7.7 percent. The Governors Highway Safety Association, a group representing state highway agencies, advocates stronger laws, more resources for law enforcement, and increased funding for safety and awareness campaigns.
Despite recent increases, American roads are much safer than they once were
In 1966, or 50 years ago, more than 50,000 Americans died on American roads. In fact, the fatality rate, or the deaths per mile driven, was five times higher 50 years ago than it is today. While every traffic death is a tragedy, and this recent increase in deaths is not a positive trend, it is important to know that cars and roads are far safer today than they once were.
Anyone who has been injured in a car accident, or anyone who has lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, should retain the services of a skilled attorney. For years, people across Miami and the surrounding areas have relied on the Farber Law Firm in all types of personal injury and wrongful death cases.
Source: U.S. traffic deaths jump 7.7 percent in 2015 to 35,200, Reuters, by David Shepardson, July 1, 2016