When you combine all the factors such as lower gas prices, an increase in vehicle miles traveled and add to that the negligent habits of distracted driving and speeding you get one of the deadliest years in almost a decade for drivers in the U.S.
The National Safety Council (NSC) published a report that highlights the preliminary 2016 data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), which estimated that about 40,000 people lost their lives in traffic crashes in 2016, which represents a 6% increase over the previous year. If those numbers prove to be accurate, they would be an increase of 14% over 2014, which is the largest two-year increase in more than 50 years.
Traffic crashes not only cost people’s lives, but there were about 4.6 million injuries, and the estimated hit to the U.S. economy for traffic accidents in 2016 was an estimated $432 billion according to the NSC.
The NSC released a study, Driver Safety Public Opinion Poll that surveyed more than 2,000 drivers who typically drive more than 15 minutes per day. The survey asked questions about how drivers feel about driver safety and the activities of drivers while driving.
About 83% had either minor or major concern about driving as a potential cause of injury or death.
Survey participants rated their level of concern with these traffic safety issues:
- Drunk drivers 96%
- Distracted drivers96%
- Drugged drivers 94%
- Aggressive drivers 94%
- Speeding 93%
- Road rage 92%
- Drowsy drivers 93%
- Bad weather 92%
- Teen drivers 90%
- Autonomous vehicles 75%
- Road maintenance 84%
After being assured that their responses were confidential and would not be shared, 196 of the 2,000 surveyed drivers admitted to choosing to drive while impaired by alcohol in the past three months. During the times drivers chose to drive despite feeling that their ability to drive might be compromised by drinking alcohol, 48% admitted to crossing the median, dozing off or driving off the shoulder, 47% were involved in a near-miss (almost crashed), 45% received a ticket for drunk driving, 43% were involved in a crash and 41% stopped by a sobriety check.
Only 69% of drivers made sure that their passengers buckled their safety belts on every trip, 22% did so on most trips, 6% rarely required passengers to buckle up in the car and 2% said they never require passengers to buckle safety belts.
Driver error is the cause of most traffic crashes, so being mindful about safe driving habits such as buckling your seat belt, keeping your phone out of reach, obeying the speed limit and not drinking and driving can have a huge impact in the form of lives saved and injuries prevented on the roadways.
Traffic crashes are one of the leading causes of personal injury in the United States, and a car accident can cause a lot of stress for those who have been injured. Fortunately, our civil justice system provides a remedy for those who have been hurt due to not fault of their own and have subsequently suffered losses. The experienced Nashville car accident lawyers from the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm are ready to meet with you to hear your story, evaluate your case and offer legal advice about next steps. We encourage you to call 615.246.5549 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Nashville, Gallatin or Knoxville. We are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.