Despite driver safety campaigns and improvements in vehicle design, the rate of traffic fatalities made a sharp increase from 2014 to 2015. That is according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
More than 35,000 people were killed in traffic-related crashes in 2015. That is an increase of 2,300 (or 7.2%) from 2014. Pedestrian, “pedacyclist,” and motorcycle deaths also increased during this time frame. The NHTSA says traffic deaths rose across almost every segment of the population; the organization has apparently not seen numbers like these since the 1960’s. Traffic fatalities had been on a five-decade decline prior to 2014.
So what is the likely cause of these traffic fatalities? The NHTSA says it is a combination of increased driving and human errors. The organization says that the overall amount of driving increased 3.5% from 2014 to 2015, following a trend of job growth and lower (than average) fuel prices. Additionally, more “leisure” drivers and young drivers were on the road in 2015. The NHTSA cites human error as the cause of the fatalities: driving without seat belts, drunk driving, speeding, and distracted driving. In other words, there were more motorists on the road, and these individuals were not practicing safe driving habits.
As a result of these startling numbers, the White House and the Department of Transportation have issued a “Call to Action” to data scientists, health officials, and to the public. They say solving this traffic safety problem will take teamwork – and they want to develop new ways to improve safety and prevent future tragedies.
For more on the NHTSA report, visit https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/traffic-fatalities-sharply-2015. If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a collision and needs help with a personal injury claim, give The Gore Law Firm a call today at (404) 436-1529.