An alarming trend of increased traffic fatalities continued in the first 9 months of 2016.
A National highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report showed that the rise in deaths is even outpacing the increase in miles traveled on the road. While vehicle miles traveled increased by 3% compared to the same period in 2015, fatalities were up by a dramatic 6%.
The increase in travel miles is easily explained by our improved economy and generally low gas prices. But the increase in deaths does not have an easy answer.
There are regional differences in the increase. For example, New England accounted for one-fifth of the increase while the increase in 6 states in the west was only 1% of the total. Perhaps crowded roads with aging infrastructures cause more deaths than the open spaces of the west.
Some trends that negatively impact traffic deaths are hard to measure, especially the increase in distracted driving where drivers use cellphones and other electronic devices behind the wheel.
Of special concern is the fact that fatalities are increasing despite the fact that carmakers are building more safety devices into their products. New technology like automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring have joined rearview cameras and electronic stability control to make newer cars safer.
The NHTSA is continuing to gather and analyze data including police crash reports and other sources. A final report will be issued later this year with the 2016 12-month numbers as well as conclusions on causes and trends.
Florida Auto Accidents with Fatalities on the Rise
The NHTSA report groups our state into a region with Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. Our region ranks second only to New England for the increase in deaths, with our region accounting for 15% of the increase.
The report lists weather as a factor, explaining that traffic fatalities rise in warmer weather months when people do more driving.
Florida's 2015 5-Year Highway Safety Plan Addresses Accident Fatalities
The Florida Department of Transportation partnered with other state agencies as well as the NHTSA to create its 2015 plan. The Highway Safety Plan's focus areas include:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Vulnerable road users - bicycles, pedestrians and motorcycles
- Intersection crashes
- Lane departure crashes
- At risk drivers - teens and the aging
The plan's project list to address roadway safety and reduce fatalities centers on the 4 "E's" of safety: Engineering, education, enforcement and emergency.
Contact Us if You Have Been Injured in an Auto Accident
If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident or any other type of personal injury, you need an attorney with the right experience in these cases. We will work hard for you and pursue compensation for your physical and emotional injuries. Please call The Francis Law Group for a free consultation. Attorney Tony Francis, personal injury attorney in Orlando, will fight to get you the compensation that you and your family deserve. You can reach us at 407-363-9939 or contact us via the website.