Traffic Deaths Up Sharply in First Six Months of 2015
There has been an alarming 14 percent increase in traffic deaths in the U.S. over the first half this year. Automobile accident injuries have also gone up by one third over 2014. According to the National Safety Council, approximately 19,000 people have lost their lives in traffic accidents so far this year. At this rate, we could see over 40,000 traffic deaths by the end of the year; a number which hasn’t been seen since 2007.
This increase began in the final quarter of 2014, and has consistently climbed through June of 2015. Driving has also been up across the nation, with Americans driving 1.26 trillion miles by May 2015. The council has stated that lower gas prices and an improved economy has encouraged citizens to drive more this year. However, with the increase in vehicle mileage at only 3.4 percent, the 14 percent increase in traffic deaths is quite disproportionate.
As of spring 2015, a quarter of all automobile accidents were caused by distracted driving. This number includes fatal accidents as well as those which only caused injuries or property damage. With an increase in the number of fatal crashes this year, it could be concluded that distracted driving has been a contributor to this uptick. Other safety issues, such as states increasing speed limits, could also be contributing to the rise in traffic deaths.
Despite the increase in deaths, other vehicle safety trends are improving. Drunk driving deaths contribute to only 30 percent of fatalities, down from 50. Seatbelt use is also improving and teen driving deaths are decreasing.
If you or someone you love has been injured or lost their life due to a traffic accident, call the law offices of Peterson & Associates, P.C.™ We will review your case free of charge and help you determine if legal action is right for you.