Over the first half of 2015, there has been a remarkable surge in the number of deadly traffic crashes occurring on U.S. roadways, officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced.
In fact, according to preliminary data for this year, the first six months of 2015 have seen a more than 8 percent increase in these crashes. And this represents the first time since 2007 that deadly traffic crashes in the U.S. have not been on the decline.
As the NHTSA has explained in relation to this finding, “while partial-year estimates are more volatile and subject to revision, the estimated increase represents a troubling departure from a general downward trend.”
Why the Increase?
Currently, NHTSA officials believe that the main reason for this spike in deadly traffic crashes so far in 2015 has been the fact that there are simply a lot more drivers on the road. And this has likely been the result of decreasing unemployment rates and decreasing gas prices, the combination of which has:
- Put more regular commuters on the road
- Triggered more leisure driving among motorists.
Given that NHTSA researchers have found that about 94 percent of crashes are primarily the result of some human factor or error, more drivers on the roads can naturally mean more collisions.
Combatting the Trend
As analysts continue working on finalizing the crash data for 2015, federal regulators are continuing their work to enhance roadway safety and reduce the risk of crashes. As part of this effort they are currently focused on:
- Continuing to educate the public about driving safety – This involves public outreach, the development of online educational materials and coordinated efforts with other authorities/safety advocates/automakers/etc.
- Working to combat drunk and distracted driving – These two dangerous behaviors are 100 percent preventable; yet, they are still responsible for causing more than 40 percent of all deadly traffic crashes that occur in the U.S. each year.
- Promoting the development of behavioral safety programs and crash-prevention technologies – This includes (but is not limited to) efforts to roll out the DADSS system to combat drunk driving, working with automakers to get newer safety technologies in vehicles and working with state and local governments to enhance the strength of driving safety laws and the enforcement of them.
When regulators release the final crash data for 2015, we will report their findings to you here in a future blog. In the meantime, share your comments on these preliminary findings on our Facebook & Google+ pages.
Contact a Beaverton Car Accident Attorney at the Weimar Law Offices
If you have been injured in a traffic accident, Beaverton Car Accident Attorney Linda Weimar is ready to aggressively advocate your rights both inside and outside of the courtroom. Since 1997, Attorney Linda Weimar has been dedicated to providing the highest quality legal services to injured people and to holding negligent parties accountable for their careless and reckless behaviors.
To get professional legal advice during a free initial consult, call us at (503) 640-5000 or email us using the Contact form on this page. From our offices in Beaverton, Attorney Linda Weimar represents people with various types of personal injury claims throughout Washington County, including in West Side and Hillsboro.