An estimated 25,580 people died in car crashes in the United States during the first nine months of 2012, up from 23,884 during the same period in 2011, according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That number is a cause for some concern because it represents a 7.1 percent increase over the number of people who died in fatal crashes the prior year, and marks the first time since 2005 that the number of fatal car accidents has gone up rather than down.
Now, some context is necessary for Florida readers to evaluate this information properly. In 2005, some 32, 141 people were killed in car accidents. Compared to that figure, the number of highway deaths so far in 2012 is still a decrease.
But what concerns safety experts is that until now, death in car crashes has gone down every year since 2005. In other words, 2012 snaps a six-year trend toward fewer car accident deaths.
No one is quite positive why death in car crashes increased so much this year. One possible reason is that more people drove more miles this year than they did last. Of course, the more time people spend on the roads, the greater the likelihood of a crash.
Even so, experts say they cannot definitely cite that as a reason for the increased in traffic deaths.
At least until experts can come up with a clearer explanation for what is going on, we think the best advice may be the most common-sense: It is so important to be careful when driving. Of course, you can be as careful as possible and there is simply nothing you can do to protect yourself from “the other guy.” If that ever happens to you, we hope you will not be afraid to pursue any available legal options.
Source: The Star Tribune, “Road fatalities on rise in Minnesota, nation,” Tim Harlow, Dec. 24, 2012