The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has just issued a press release showing the 7.7 percent increase in motor vehicle traffic deaths in 2015. An estimated 35,200 people died in car crashes last year. In 2014, 32,675 people died in car crashes across the country. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was quick to issue a statement about the importance of safety on U.S. roadways for all people, whether they’re behind the wheel, walking or riding a bicycle or motorcycle. The NHTSA is currently analyzing the data to determine what factors contributed to the sharpest increase in traffic fatalities since 2008. It should also be noted that pedestrians, motorcycle riders and cyclists saw the largest increases in roadway fatalities in 2015.

Increased Driving and Increased Fatalities

An initial explanation for the increase in traffic fatalities has been the increase in miles traveled on U.S. roadways. With gas prices falling and the economy improving, Americans are simply driving more. NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind is quick to point out that this explanation can only be partly responsible for the increase. It’s important to understand that 94 percent of all motor vehicle wrecks are caused by human choice or error. Dr. Rosekind wants to focus roadway safety efforts on improving human behavior behind the wheel and promoting vehicle technology to better protect all roadway users.

Pedestrian and Cyclist Deaths Up on U.S. Roadways

The NHTSA also reports that our most vulnerable roadway user groups, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle riders, saw the largest increases in roadway fatalities in 2015. Preliminary data shows that pedestrians saw a 10 percent increase in roadway fatalities. Bicycle riders saw the sharpest increase at 13 percent, and motorcycle rider fatalities increased by about nine percent.

Wrongful Death in San Diego

If you have lost a loved one in a car accident due to somebody else’s dangerous or negligent behavior, you may have a wrongful death case. Surviving spouses, children and sometimes parents may be able to take legal action in cases involving wrongful death. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a car accident in or around the San Diego or Central Coast areas, contact the skilled and proven team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1.800.GO.HARRIS.

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