Increase in Motor Vehicle Accident Deaths Due in Large Part to Distracted Driving

In 2016, the National Safety Council estimated that roughly 40,000 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents across the country. According to an insurance industry news source, this represents a 6% increase in fatalities over the previous year and reflects the highest number of deaths since 2007. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported similar numbers, with an 8% increase in traffic deaths year-over-year.

In fact, since 2007, the number of traffic deaths has dropped dramatically. It was not until 2014 that the rate of traffic deaths started to slowly increase. However, since 2014, there has been a 16% increase in the number of traffic deaths.

Those who conducted the study point to several non-problematic factors that contributed to the sharp increase, including reasonable gasoline prices and a healthy economy. However, the researchers note that even taking these factors into account, the year-over-year total increase in miles traveled was only a 3% increase. This suggests that other factors are also in play.

According to the researchers conducting the study, the habits of motorists have a large part to play in the increase in traffic deaths. In fact, many motorists admitted to researchers to routinely engaging in dangerous behavior while behind the wheel. The results of the study are startling:

  • 47% of drivers reported that they felt comfortable driving while texting or talking on a cell phone;
  • 10% of drivers admitted that they have engaged in drunk driving;
  • 43% of those who did engage in drunk driving reported being involved in at least one accident;
  • 16% of motorists admitted to not wearing their seatbelt; and
  • 25% of drivers acknowledged that they speed on residential streets.

Suggestions to Curb the Increase in Traffic Deaths

The researchers made several suggestions that they believe would reduce the total number of traffic deaths. These include implementing a total ban on cell phones while driving, including a hands-free device ban, as well as requiring anyone convicted of a first-time drunk-driving offense to have an ignition interlock system installed on their vehicle to reduce future instances of drunk driving and implementing a three-tier driver’s license program for new and inexperienced drivers.

Have You Been Injured in a Washington, D.C. Traffic Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Washington, D.C. traffic accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. The skilled personal injury attorneys at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have extensive experience representing clients who have been injured due to another driver’s negligence. With our experience and dedication, you can rest assured that you and your case are in good hands. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation with an attorney to discuss your case. Calling is free and will not result in any obligation on your part to continue with your claims unless it is your desire to do so.

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