If you are feeling safer out on the roads today due to the number of public safety campaigns, increased law enforcement efforts, and so many new safety features in your car and those of others, think again. It may seem impossible that progress is not being made due to the amount of information we have today to help us reduce car accidents and injuries, as well as deaths; for instance, it is well-known that texting and driving is a major cause of fender benders and major crashes. Drinking and driving penalties are stiff, and police are much better equipped to spot impaired drivers, test them, and get them off the road. Better electronics have been designed to monitor and stop speeding, from both the ground and even the air. Still, however, all these issues still reign as the main causes of danger on the roads.
A recent news article cites data stating that not only was there a six percent increase in traffic fatalities in 2016 (on top of the seven percent increase from 2015), the total numbers of fatalities have now surpassed those of 2007. The numbers, released by the National Safety Council, reflect a dismal lack of progress or improvement.
Around 4.6 million accidents resulted in the need for medical care in 2016, showing an increase in the numbers of seven percent from 2015. The overall costs from car accidents in 2016 totaled a staggering $432.5 billion (an increase of 12% from 2015). In arriving at those figures, the NSC includes not only damage to property, but also medical and administrative expenses, wage loss, and costs to employers.
Distracted driving is a main target in the focus on lowering these statistics.
“It’s not just talking on the phone that’s a problem today,” said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association. “You now have all these other apps that people can use on their phones.”
Motorists not wearing their seatbelts is at the top of the list with speeding and driving drunk in terms of leading causes of wrecks and injury to others.
“It’s still the same things that are killing drivers — belts, booze and speed,” Mr. Adkins said.
In many states, speed limits are rising, while law enforcement budgets are being cut.
“Total crashes were up less than 5 percent, but fatalities were up 25 percent,” said David Brown, a research associate at the University of Alabama’s Center for Advanced Public Safety. “I think speeding is the number one problem. There are times of the day when we only have one or two troopers on duty in a county, so you can speed, and there’s no one there to deter it.”
As more experts weigh in on the subject and government officials look at better ways to improve safety on the roads, there could be further restrictions placed on smartphone usage while driving, along with added requirements such as mandatory seatbelt usage for passengers riding in the back seat.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others, please call Heintz & Becker for a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys. We handle all types of Florida personal injury cases, and our law firm has established an impressive record of verdicts and settlements. If you have been seriously injured, call us now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!
All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.