Cars are getting safer, educational signs about the dangers of distracted and drunk driving abound and yet deaths due to car accidents experienced a striking increase last year. What resulted in this jump?
The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently dug into this issue, examining both the data behind fatal accidents throughout the country as well as contributing factors.
Looking at the data: How many fatal car crashes in 2015?
Fatalities resulting from car crashes were up by 7.2 percent in 2015, the largest increase in over fifty years. The NHTSA released a publication discussing this information. According to the piece, this percentage translates to 35,092 deaths due to injuries sustained in auto accidents.
A number of different types of accidents were included in this study. Some examples include:
- Pedestrians. Accidents involving pedestrians increased by 9.5 percent.
- Bicycles. Crashes with people on bicycles were up 12.2 percent.
- Passenger vehicles. Car crashes between standard, passenger cars were up 5.7 percent.
The number of fatalities went up in all of these groups.
Digging deeper: What caused this increase in auto accidents?
Authors of the publication point to a couple of different factors that likely contribute to this increase. One example is the increase in miles driven by Americans during this time period.
It makes sense that the more time cars are on the road, the more likely an accident would happen. Vehicle miles traveled during 2015 went up 3.5 percent over those traveled in 2014. This is the largest increase since 1992.
Finding resolution: What about victims injured or those who lost loved ones due to catastrophic car crashes?
It is important to realize that these numbers represent more than just data. Each number is a person. Each person had a family, loved ones, friends and coworkers.
Those who lose a loved one due to a tragic accident may be able to find resolution through a personal injury lawsuit. This path may be available if the accident was caused by the negligent or reckless behavior of another person.