Despite all the vast improvements vehicle manufacturers have made toward improving the safety of vehicles, it seems that the number of traffic-related fatalities is on the rise for the United States. According to a recent article published by CNN, traffic fatalities have jumped an astounding 14 percent since 2014 – making 2015 on par to be the deadliest for drivers since 2007.
What the Data Says
The non-profit organization, the National Safety Council, has been recording data on traffic accidents, costs and fatalities. According to their data, there were more than 18,600 accident-related deaths in the United States from January to June of 2015, compared to 2014’s similar timeframe, where there were only 16,400 deaths.
The NSC estimates these deaths and injuries to cost $152 billion. That number is up by 24 percent from the costs incurred during the same time period last year. The costs associated with that $152 billion figure include wage and productivity losses, employer costs, property damage, medical expenses, administrative expenses, etc.
So far, 2015 has seen a 14 percent increase in the total number of fatalities since 2014 – and if this trend continues, 2015 will be the deadliest year since 2007.
The Reason for the Increase
The NSC has three key reasons they attribute to the increase in traffic fatalities for 2015. These include:
- Cheaper Gas Prices – One factor that is contributing to the increase in accidents and fatalities is that gas prices are low. With the gas prices remaining low, more vehicles and drivers are on the road, and that congestion increases the likelihood of accidents. On average, gas prices have been reported as 30 percent cheaper than 2014.
- More Jobs and Improved Economy – While the job market’s growth is a great thing for the United States economy, it also means that there are more drivers on the road each day commuting to and from work. Because of that excess congestion, there are more accidents and fatalities. The NSC states that the number of jobs has been steadily increasing in 2015 and is expected to continue.
- Distracted Driving – Unfortunately, distracted driving is also to blame for the increase in traffic deaths for 2015. According to the NSC, drivers are more distracted behind the wheel because of their cellphones. While there are numerous bans on texting and even talking while driving for some states, drivers continue to ignore these bans and use their devices while driving. The NSC stated that “Americans are addicted” to their devices and would rather risk safety than put down those devices.
Drivers can help decrease the number of fatalities just by using safe driving practices – that means using slower speeds in high traffic congestion, never talking or texting while driving and avoiding reckless behaviors behind the wheel.
Did You Lose a Loved One to a Traffic Fatality?
If you have lost a loved one due to a traffic fatality and a negligent driver is to blame, contact Hancock Injury Attorneys today. We are here to help our clients receive the compensation they deserve. Contact us online or call us at 813-915-1110 now to schedule your free consultation with an accident attorney.