The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently issued a press release about the disturbing increase in traffic fatalities across the U.S. in 2015. The White House and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a call to action to data scientists and public health experts because 2,348 more people were killed in crashes in 2015 than in 2014. According to the NHTSA, 35,092 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2015. Traffic deaths went up for nearly every segment of the population in 2015. This number of fatalities broke a five-decade trend of declining roadway crash fatalities.
Traffic Crash Deaths Up in 2015
1966 was the last time there was an increase in the number of traffic fatalities of this size. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was quick to point out that solving the problem of U.S. roadway fatalities will need to be a team effort. The NHTSA has already called in help from the White House and a variety of other safety partners, stakeholders, data scientists, policy experts and state and local officials from around the country.
Pedestrians and Cyclists at Great Risk
Some of the more vulnerable roadway user groups, like cyclists, pedestrians and motorcycle riders, have seen the sharpest increases in fatal traffic crashes on American roadways. Motorcycle rider fatalities have increased eight percent, and pedestrian and cyclists fatalities have increased more than they have in the past 20 years.
Fatal Crash Causes
The large majority of crashes are due to driver error or some other type of negligence. The good news is that these crashes are preventable. The bad news is that drivers are still engaging in dangerous and negligent behaviors behind the wheel. Nearly half of all passenger occupants killed in crashes in 2015 were not buckled up at the time of the crash. Close to one in three fatalities involved drunk driving or speeding. Conservative estimates indicate that distracted driving happens in one in 10 traffic crash fatalities across the nation.
If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a car accident due to a drunk, distracted or otherwise negligent driver in San Diego or anywhere along the Central Coast, contact the team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1.800.GO.HARRIS for a free consultation today.