According to the National safety council (NSC) in their August report; traffic fatalities rose 9 percent in the first six months of 2016 compared to the first six months of 2015. Even more shocking is the 18 percent rise in traffic fatalities over the comparable 2014 statistics. The eight percent jump between 2014 and 2015 marked the biggest single jump in traffic fatalities year over year in 50 years. A stronger economy means lower unemployment; that combined with falling gas prices (average gas prices for the first six months of 2016 were 16 percent lower than 2015 prices) encouraged Americans to take more road trips in 2016 (3.3 percent increase). This reflects a trend that began two years ago as the economy improved and travel increased.
2016 U.S. traffic fatalities by the numbers
- Roughly 19,100 Americans have been killed in U.S. traffic fatalities in the first half of 2016
- An additional 2.2 million people were seriously injured
- The total estimated cost of these deaths and injuries is $205 billion
The states that saw the biggest increases in traffic fatalities since 2014 – when the upward trend began – are Florida (43 percent increase), Georgia (34 percent), Indiana (33 percent), California (31 percent), North Carolina (26 percent), Illinois (24 percent) and Kentucky (24 percent).
Three biggest causes of traffic fatalities and injuries
- Alcohol (30.8 percent)
- Speeding (30 percent)
- Distracted driving (26 percent)
Driving safety recommendations from the NSC:
- Insist that every passenger is wearing a seatbelt and that children are correctly strapped into the appropriate infant or convertible car or booster seat for their height and weight every time you drive.
- Drive defensively. The NSC offers many defensive driving courses to help train drivers to protect themselves from traffic accidents.
- Never drive intoxicated. Choose a designated driver or plan to cab or walk if you are going to an event where you may use drugs or alcohol.
- Before setting out on a lengthy road trip, get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue at the wheel.
- Never use a cell phone while driving; even hands-free devices increase the risk of traffic accidents.
- Talk to your teen about their driving habits as they are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a traffic accident. Set rules around number of kids in the car and insist that they put their cell phones away while driving.
- Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them. Safety features may include adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning systems and backup cameras.
If you lost a loved one in a traffic accident, contact a personal injury lawyer today. He or she will sort through the accident details and fight for the settlement that you deserve.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!