Estimates Say Traffic Deaths Increased by Six Percent in 2016
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Feb 21, 2017 in Car Accidents
The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that there were 40,000 traffic fatalities last year, a six percent increase over traffic deaths in 2015. This makes 2016 the deadliest year on our nation's roads since 2007.
Unfortunately, this continues the trend of increasing traffic fatalities that began in 2014, after several years of decreases in traffic deaths. There was a seven percent increase from 2014 to 2015. Traffic fatalities in 2016 were 14 percent higher than in 2014, which is the largest two-year increase in car accident deaths in more than half a century.
Motor vehicle deaths last year cost approximately $432 billion, an increase of 12 percent compared to 2015. Costs include medical bills, lost wages, property damage and administrative costs, according to the NSC.
A variety of factors may have contributed to last year's increased traffic fatalities. According to an NSC survey, more than 80 percent of drivers admit to engaging in the following risky driving behaviors:
- Texting while driving, either manually or with voice control
- Impaired driving, including driving under the influence of marijuana or alcohol
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that young drivers have the highest risk of dying in traffic accidents.
In fact, teenage drivers are involved in car accidents at three times the rate of drivers over the age of 20.
Approximately 10 percent of drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 involved in fatal accidents were engaging in distracted driving.
The NSC estimates for 2016 traffic deaths are likely to be higher than the NHTSA's estimates. That is because the NHTSA only counts deaths on public roads while excluding deaths in driveways and parking lots and deaths that occur within one year of a traffic accident.
If you lost a loved one in a car accident, contact our South Bend car accident attorneys for a free legal consultation. We may be able to help you recover wrongful death compensation, including final expenses, medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship.