Over the last two decades, more Americans have lost their lives on the roads compared to both world wars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has revealed 190,455 road accident-related deaths between 2006 and 2012. At the same time, during the opioid pandemic, nearly 100,000 died.
The NHTSA revealed that 94% of these crashes were caused by human error and could have been avoided. Errors such as distracted driving, drunk driving, and speeding are fully preventable, and it is disappointing to learn that the deaths of many innocent people were avoidable. Fatal crashes resulting from driver negligence have severe consequences and must be promptly addressed.
Road Fatality Statistics
535,000 American military personnel lost their lives during World War I and II. Surprisingly, more than 624,000 have died in road crashes since 2000. Another 30 million were injured from these crashes.
Of these accident deaths, more than 197,000 were caused by speeding, while nearly 78,000 were by distracted driving. Moreover, 213,000 fatal crashes resulted from drunk driving. Unfortunately, more drivers disregard road safety, as close to 481,000 use their cell phones during daylight hours.
“Seatbelts are one of the most efficient safety devices in vehicles, and yet, some drivers choose to drive without buckling up, despite many seatbelt laws.” Dan Christensen of DC Law expresses. Data from the NHTSA has shown that more than 220,000 people killed in road accidents were not wearing seatbelts.
Most drivers are fully aware of the dangers of distracted driving but still engage in distracting behaviors. In 2017 alone, distracted driving from cell phones resulted in the death of nearly 800 people. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), most cell phone-related crashes involve talking rather than texting or emailing.
Bruce Landsberg, NTSB Vice Chairman, had a rather direct approach regarding distracted driving. “Multi-tasking does two things. It makes you stupid, one, and it makes you dangerous.”Maureen Vogel from the National Safety Council noted that most Americans still believe that accidents will happen to someone else but not to them.
The number of drivers using their phones while driving continues to rise. The AAA Foundation has revealed that the number of drivers talking on their phones has increased by 46% since 2013. Drivers who spoke on their phones were four times more likely to cause a crash, while those who texted were eight times more likely to cause a crash.
Another major cause of accidents is speeding. Nearly 37,000 deaths have been caused by simply raising the speed limit in some states. Forty-one states allow limits of 70 mph, while another six have their limits set at 80 mph, with Texas at 85 mph.
According to Charles Farmer, the vice president for research at the IIHS, driving at 70 mph instead of 60 only saves a driver six and a half minutes every 100 miles. He also noted that the fatality rate rose by 8% for every 5 mph increase in the speed limit. This means that more than 1,900 people would not have died if speed limits had not been increased.
States across the country have enforced strict road rules to help manage road fatalities. There are laws restricting drunk driving, speeding, distracted driving, and other preventable causes of road accidents. Unfortunately, some drivers still find ways to circumvent these laws resulting in more crashes each day.
Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. Drivers are liable for their actions and could face severe consequences for compromising their safety and that of others.
If you or a loved one has suffered losses from a road accident, you can seek compensation from the negligent driver. Ensure you hire a qualified attorney to help with the lawsuit. If the claim is successful, you can receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering.