A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed a slight decline in traffic fatalities in the United States in 2014. However, an increase in estimated traffic deaths in the first half of 2015 caused the NHTSA to launch a series of new safety initiatives. These initiatives address unsafe driver behaviors such as drunk, drugged, and distracted driving.
National Traffic Fatalities Statistics for 2014
According to the report from the NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), 21,022 people died in vehicle collisions in 2014—the fewest traffic fatalities since 1975, the year FARS began collecting annual data. However, common unsafe driver behaviors such as drunk driving, speeding, or failing to wear a seat belt or helmet remain deadly. The data shows that:
- Human error was the main cause of an estimated 94 percent of vehicle accidents.
- Drunk driving resulted in 9,967 deaths in 2014, representing approximately one-third of all traffic fatalities.
- Almost half—49 percent—of vehicle occupants killed in accidents were not wearing seat belts.
- Over 1,500 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2014; however, fewer motorcyclists were killed in states with strong helmet laws.
- Distracted driving killed 3,179 people, accounting for 10 percent of crash fatalities.
- At least 846 people died in drowsy driving accidents in 2014.
New Safety Initiatives
To address a rise in traffic fatalities seen in early 2015 estimate, the NHTSA has launched a series of new safety initiatives, including a campaign to fight drowsy driving and initiatives to protect cyclists and pedestrians. The NHTSA will also host meetings to discuss new approaches to driver behavioral issues, including:
- Drunk and drugged driving
- Failure to utilize seat belts and child safety seats
Safety initiatives may not keep you from being injured in a traffic accident. If you or someone you love suffered an injury in an accident with a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the knowledgeable legal team at Steinberg Injury Lawyers for a free evaluation of your case.