The NHTSA recently released their traffic accident data for 2016 and the results are not what you might expect. Traffic accident fatalities are once more on the rise and though many would be quick to point the finger at distracted driving behaviors such as texting while driving, that was not the case. Traffic accident fatalities resulting from distracted driving actually decreased in 2016, when compared to 2015. However, fatalities caused by unsafe driving practices such as driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding, and driving without the proper use of seatbelts all increased in 2016.
According to this report, fatal car accidents weren’t the only type that had increased in 2016. Accident fatalities for motorcyclists and pedestrians had also increased, when compared to previous years. In fact, pedestrian accidents increased by 9.0% in 2016. That was twice the rate of any other increase in 2016.
Another possible factor for the overall increase in traffic accident fatalities is the increase in Vehicle Miles Traveled in 2016, or VMT, which rose by 2.2%. Though this increase is not as high as other years, it can still account for some of these statistics. The more cars on the road, the more miles driven, the higher the risk of an accident.
The Road to Zero Coalition
The NHTSA is teaming up with the National Safety Administration, AAA and other state and federal agencies in an effort to eliminate traffic accidents by the year 2050. The Road to Zero Coalition is working toward this goal with the use of three main strategies.
- Recognize that traffic accidents are preventable.
- Continue to invest in car safety technologies such as blind spot detection systems, lane departure warning systems and backup cameras. The use of these technologies has been shown to decrease the rate of accidents.
- Work closely with other organizations. By teaming up with others, more can be done than what one individual organization can accomplish alone.
Some have considered this goal to be nearly impossible but Deborah A.P. Hersman, President and CEO of the National Safety Council, knows that more can be done to lower the rates of traffic accidents; “The U.S. lags the rest of the developed world in addressing highway fatalities. We know what needs to be done; we just haven’t done it.”
Our Experienced attorneys can help
Car safety technologies have been proven to decrease the rate of traffic accidents every year, yet auto safety technology can’t account for human error. The latest estimates are that roughly 90% of traffic accidents are caused by human error. This means that you could be driving a car with a back-up camera, blind spot detection, lane departure warning system and every other technology available. But if you or someone else on the road are traveling too fast or driving distracted, you are still at an elevated risk of getting into an accident. Safety technology is wonderfully beneficial, but it cannot account for human error.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a traffic accident, contact Marcus & Mack today. Our car accident attorneys have seen what happens when drivers become irresponsible on the road and we know how to get you the compensation you deserve.