More people dying in motor vehicle crashes means Johnstown drivers face higher accident risks every time they are on the roads. There has been an ongoing reduction in collision fatalities over past years; however this trend did not continue into 2015. Preliminary year-end data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration creates significant cause for concern.
Drivers throughout Johnstown must be aware of elevated collision rates. Motorists should do everything they can to be safe at all times so they do not exacerbate problems caused by increasingly unsafe roads.
The risk of dying in a car accident was much higher throughout the United States in 2015 than it was in 2014. This year was the first in several years in which crash rates have gone up instead of down. In 2014, a small .1 percent reduction in fatalities in car crashes occurred, as compared with in 2013. In 2015, however, a dramatic rise in car accident fatalities happened throughout the United States.
While there were a total of 32,675 victims of fatal motor vehicle accidents who died in 2014, there were 8.1 percent more deaths during 2015. This is a dramatic rise in the number of people who have their lives taken away by a car crash which was likely preventable.
Some explanations offered for the significantly higher death rate include a reduction in the price of fuel leading to more frequent driving, and increasing improvement to the economy resulting in more motorists driving frequently and taking longer trips. These explanations, however, are not sufficient to account for the fact there was also a rise in the fatality rate.
The fatality rate measures deaths per 100 million vehicle miles, and thus adjusts for the fact more deaths occur when more drivers hit the road. In 2014, the fatality rate was 1.07 deaths per 100 million miles driven by U.S. vehicles. In 2015, the fatality rate rose 4.4 percent.
Persistent high-risk behaviors help to contribute to the thousands of deaths each year, including motorists driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol and motorists who persist in engaging in distracted behavior while operating their vehicles, despite the obvious dangers of driver distraction. Drivers who wish to try to avoid another year of traffic accident deaths rising in 2016 will need to ensure they are avoiding the kinds of behaviors which help contribute to high-risks of crashes occurring.
Drivers should also be sure to buckle up, as 49 percent of people who died in car accidents in 2014 had no seat belts on at the time of the fatal accident. Unfortunately, you cannot control the unsafe behaviors of other motorists and you could find yourself and your loved ones being hurt by another driver who makes an unsafe choice. Buckling up can help to save your life, and you can hold the other driver legally accountable for any injuries he causes to you in the crash.