There were 40,000 deaths on our nation’s roads last year, a six percent increase compared to 2015 and the most deaths in 10 years, according to preliminary data from the National Safety Council (NSC).
This continues a trend of increasing traffic fatalities in the last few years, as the total number of deaths in 2016 is 14 percent higher than 2014. This represents the largest two-year increase in traffic deaths in more than 50 years.
In addition to highway fatalities, 4.6 million motorists needed medical attention for auto accident injurieslast year. These crashes cost the nation $432.5 billion, a 12 percent increase in expenses compared to 2015.
Reasons for the Increase
The increase in traffic fatalities is a bit surprising when you consider that cars are safer now than they have ever been. Many vehicles on our roadways have a variety of automatic safety features like rear cameras, stability controls and emergency braking systems.
Unfortunately, car safety features cannot overcome risky behavior by drivers. An NSC survey released last month found that large percentages of drivers engage in dangerous behaviors even though 83 percent of them are concerned about their safety when they are driving.
The survey revealed:
- 64 percent think speeding is acceptable
- 47 percent are comfortable texting, either with their hands or voice controls
- 13 percent think it is OK to drive when impaired by marijuana
- 10 percent are comfortable driving when they have had too much to drink
The U.S. trails the developed world in its efforts to prevent highway deaths, says NSC president and former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board Deborah A.P. Hersman.
That is why the NSC and other safety industry experts are calling for the implementation of life-saving measures, including:
- Legislation mandating motorcycle helmets
- Pedestrian safety programs
- Ignition interlocks for impaired drivers
- Automated enforcement techniques to catch speeding drivers
- Banning cellphone usage for all drivers
- Eliminating user errors through autonomous car technology
- Incorporating a three-tiered license system for younger drivers
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, call the car accident attorneys at the law firm of Janet, Janet & Suggs today to set up your free, no obligation legal consultation.
You may be entitled to compensation for your suffering, including property damage, injuries and lost income.
Call us today at 1-877-692-3862 or Live Chat with a representative.