Despite the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) efforts to reduce traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities, 2015 was a particularly deadly year for drivers in the United States. Data from the first nine months of 2015 showed a 9.3 percent increase in traffic-related fatalities compared to the same time period in 2014, which threatens to reduce a years-long trend of safer roadways and marks the largest year-to-year increase in traffic fatalities since 1946. The sharp increase in traffic fatalities has safety agencies and motorists alike concerned—and rightfully so. What could be behind such a sudden and shocking increase in deaths?
Potential Contributing Factors
While NTHSA has not yet identified specific causes for 2015's sharp increase in traffic fatalities, industry insiders list a number of potential contributing factors, including:
- An improving economy. As more and more Americans find jobs, they spend more time on the road commuting to and from their workplace.
- Lower gas prices. Lower gas prices make driving more affordable, which encourages additional travel.
- An increase in cumulative mileage. The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) reports that Americans drove approximately 3.06 trillion miles in 2015, an increase of just over 3 percent over 2014.
- Dangerous driving behaviors. Speeding and drunk driving may also play a role. Additionally, distracted driving continues to be worrisome, with a recent AT&T survey showing that 70 percent of respondents use their smartphones while driving. Smartphone use ranges from texting to using popular social media sites, such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter.
Were You Injured in a Traffic Accident?
Based on traffic statistic from 2015, car accident victims who escaped with their lives can be considered especially fortunate. However, it's hard to feel fortunate when you're living in pain, facing an arduous recovery period and lying awake at night wondering how you'll provide for yourself and cover the mounting debt related to your medical care. Fortunately, if you were injured in a car accident caused by another driver's negligence, you may not have to bear that financial burden on your own. With the representation of Steinberg Injury Lawyer's experienced legal team, you may be able to fight for compensation for medical bills, damage to your vehicle, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact our office today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation or to request a free copy of the book, The Seven Biggest Mistakes That Can Ruin Your California Injury Case.