Insurance companies, as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are constantly doing studies and looking at the rates of serious and fatal traffic accidents across the country. They are doing this for different reasons, as the insurance companies want to save money by not having to pay out claims, and NHTSA presumably wants to save lives, but the results are generally the same, and they are not always promising.
According to a recent news feature from the Boston Globe, there has been a huge increase in the year over year numbers of highway fatalities in the nation, as compared to last year. In fact, this increase accounts for the single largest increase from one year to the next since the late 1960s, and this is causing some serious alarm, and there is good reason for this.
As for the numbers, there were just over 35,000 deaths on U.S. Highways last years alone. In the year prior to last, there were 7.2 percent fewer fatal traffic accidents in the nation, and that is a serious increase. These numbers include increases in accidents due to drunk driving, speeding, and distracted driving, in addition to other causes.
As our Boston drunk driving accident attorneys have seen in far too many cases, alcohol related traffic fatalities account for a significant number of traffic fatalities each year. Any large increase in the number of all fatal traffic accidents generally includes a significant increase in number of deadly drunk driving accidents, and that certainly seems to be the case here.
The study includes data that shows the number of accidents involving tired drivers, drunk drivers, those texting or otherwise using an electronic device, and whether or not they were wearing a seat belt at the time of the fatal accident. It should be noted that while many people are aware of the dangers associated with drunk driving, people seem to significantly underestimate the dangers associated with texting and driving and other types of distracted driving.
Studies have shown that distracted driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving, and in some ways, more dangerous, because there are many people who engage in distracted driving than there are who engage in drunk driving on a regular basis. If someone is texting or reading an email on their smart phone while driving, they are literally taking their eyes off the road for an extended period time, and there is nothing safe about this. We see people crashing into cars that are stopped in front of them and see people driving on the road while texting and then making abrupt and even erratic corrections to avoid a collision. This swerving and drifting can obviously result in more serious car accidents than it will likely prevent.
Another disturbing trend among this increase in fatal car accidents is the increase in fatal accidents in which the victim is on foot or riding a bicycle. There has also been an increase in motorcycle fatalities across the country. There are generally high rates of death related to motorcycle accidents as compared to death from car accidents, since the rider is much more exposed to danger on a motorcycle then he or she would be in a car.
If you or someone you love has been injured a Boston drunk driving accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
US highway fatalities see biggest increase in 50 years, September 2, 2016, By Jeff Plungis, Boston Globe
More Blog Entries:
Report: Boston Named as Having Worst Drivers in US – Many Drunk Driving Accidents, July 21, 2016, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog