Fatal Car Accidents in the U.S. Dropped in 2017

Posted on behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on December 7, 2018

. Updated on March 23, 2022


vehicle damaged in an accidentA report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that the number of people killed in auto accidents in the U.S. decreased during 2017. According to the NHTSA, more than 31,000 car accident fatalities occurred last year, marking a nearly two percent decrease from 2016.

Although the number of fatal car accidents has dropped in the U.S., many people are injured each day in collisions caused by negligent drivers. When this happens, it may be in your best interest to contact Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak’s skilled car accident lawyer in South Bend to schedule a free consultation.

We understand the hardships many accident victims face and will help you pursue the maximum amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive.

Types of Car Accident Fatalities that Decreased in 2017

The NTHSA estimates that 37,133 people were killed in car accidents in 2017, compared to 37,806 car accident fatalities that occurred in 2016. This marks a 1.8 percent decrease, or 673 fewer fatalities, in car accident fatalities in the following areas:

  • Cyclists accidents (8.1 percent)
  • Van occupants (5.88 percent)
  • Speeding-related accidents (5.6 percent)
  • Pickup truck occupants (4.5 percent)
  • Motorcyclists (3.1 percent)
  • Pedestrians (1.7 percent)
  • Alcohol impairment (1.1 percent)

However, auto accident fatalities increased in 2017 compared to 2016 in the following areas:

  • Semi-truck accident fatalities (nine percent)
  • Tractor-trailer trucks (5.8 percent)
  • Single-unit trucks (18.7 percent)
  • Accidents occurring in urban areas

The number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the U.S. increased by 1.2 percent from 2016 to 2017. However, the fatality rate per VMT decreased from 1.19 percent in 2016 to 1.16 percent in 2017.

Motor Vehicle Deaths Remain Stable in 2018

The number of motor vehicle deaths in the U.S. decreased by less than .5 percent in the first six months of 2018, compared to the first six months of 2017. Approximately 18,720 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents on U.S. roadways between January and June of 2018, according to preliminary report released by the National Safety Council (NSC).

Although the number of motor vehicle fatalities has remained stable since 2017, the NSC has noticed improvement in several states. In the first six months of 2018, Louisiana, Michigan, New York and Indiana have experienced at least a 10 percent drop in fatal motor vehicle accidents.

However, the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents increased in several states, including:

  • Oregon (nine percent)
  • Florida (seven percent)
  • California (three percent)
  • Texas (three percent)

Tips for Avoiding a Car Accident

Although the number of fatal car accidents decreased in 2017, many motor vehicle accidents are preventable. By practicing safe and defensive driving techniques, you may be able to avoid being involved in a car accident. Some techniques include:

  • Pulling slowly into traffic – Try to slowly merge your vehicle into traffic when you first enter the roadway. Be sure to check your vehicle’s blind spots when merging or entering a lane. When making a right-hand turn, remember to look left and right at least twice before merging into traffic.
  • Waiting at red lights – Count to three before entering an intersection after the light turns green. Some motorists will continue driving through an intersection even after the traffic light has turned red. It is best to proceed with caution to avoid an accident with a red-light runner.
  • Give trucks plenty of space – Trucks have a large blind spot on their right-hand side, so try to stay out of this location if at all possible. Look into the truck driver’s side mirror. If you cannot see yourself, the truck driver probably cannot see you either.
  • Keeping both hands on the steering wheel – There may be plenty of things to keep your hands occupied while driving, such as the radio, your cellphone or food. However, if a hazard comes up, you may need to suddenly swerve, so try to keep your hands on the steering wheel.
  • Looking back when backing out – Parking lot fender benders are often caused when people do not look behind their vehicle when backing up. Remember to look over your right shoulder when backing up. Only checking your rearview or side-mirrors may not be enough to see vehicles, people or objects hidden by your vehicle’s blind spots.
  • Scanning ahead – To find upcoming changes in traffic or hazards on the roadway, try to concentrate on the approaching roadway, approximately 10 seconds ahead of your vehicle. Be sure to check for drivers that seem distracted or aggressive or inclement weather as well.

Contact Our Attorneys to Find Out if You Have a Case

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney for help. You may be entitled to pursue compensation for your medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering.

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak’s personal injury lawyers in South Bend can help you review your legal options to pursue compensation during a free, no obligation consultation. All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis. Our attorneys will represent you at no upfront cost and only require payment if we recover compensation on your behalf.

Call (574) 444-0741 to find out if you have a case.

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases