Traffic Fatalities Spike Despite Safety Technology
Despite recent advances in automobile safety technology, the number of fatal car accidents reached a decade high in 2016. According to a report released by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37,461 motorists were killed and another 5,987 pedestrians were fatally injured in traffic accidents. From drunk driving-related deaths to fatalities involving cyclists, traffic deaths rose 5.6 percent in 2016 alone.
Unfortunately, 2016 marks the second consecutive year that had a significant increase in traffic fatalities. In 2015, the number of traffic deaths rose by 8.4 percent, the most significant annual increase in motor vehicle deaths since 1964. The number of fatalities had been on a steady decline since then, until 2007, when a total of 41,259 motorists were killed in the United States. Prior to 2015, traffic deaths in the United States had been falling for years, thanks to automakers installing airbags and other safety features like anti-rollover technology.
Human Error to Blame
Despite the improvements being made to car safety, the report found that the rise in fatalities is largely due to driver error. Speeding and a failure to use seat belts accounted for a significant percentage of fatalities. Drunk driving-related deaths also rose 1.7 percent, killing 10,497 people. Distracted driving, including texting, talking, eating, or changing the radio station, and drowsy driving remain a significant cause of car accidents and fatalities across the country. Yet, according to the report, distracted driving and drowsy driving-related fatalities decreased by 2.2 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively, in 2016.
Automaker and technology companies that manufacture self-driving cars may be able to use this report as a tool to encourage Congress to pass legislation that could make these vehicles available sooner, particularly if it provides a safer alternative to consumers. Self-driving cars are likely the wave of the future, but a recent accident involving the failure of a Tesla vehicle’s autopilot system raises questions as to the safety of self-driving cars.
Injuries from car accidents range from minor scrapes and bruises to broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, and even death. Many wrecks can be prevented by focusing on the road at all times and avoiding any potentially unsafe driving behavior.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Serious Car Accidents
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a car accident, to contact a Baltimore car accidnet lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Whether the accident involved a driver-operated vehicle or a self-driving car, we will determine who was responsible for the accident and hold them liable for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.December 5, 2017