Auto Collision Injury Lawyers Review Disturbing Report Revealing a Substantial Rise in Traffic Fatalities

Our Georgia auto collision injury lawyers laud traffic safety improvements, such as roadways with safer designs and vehicles equipped with more safety equipment. These types of innovations have contributed to significant declines in traffic fatalities in recent years, but a new report indicates a sharp increase in auto accident fatalities during the first six months of 2016. In this blog, we take a look at this disturbing trend and the types of unsafe driving practices that often cause traffic fatalities.

The new report from the National Safety Council (NSC) indicates that the number of traffic-related fatalities increased by 10.4 percent from 2015 during the first six months of 2016. Approximately 19,100 people tragically died in traffic collisions from January through July of this year. Another 2.2 million people experienced serious injury in traffic accidents during that period. This escalation is concerning because it does not represent a single year anomaly. The number of fatalities is up 18 percent over the first six months of this year when compared to the 2015 total. The NSC estimates that the economic costs of these deaths and injuries approaches $205 billion.

While this information is concerning, the most troubling news might be that Georgia has experienced one of the highest increases in traffic-related fatalities. While Florida experienced the sharpest increase at 43 percent, Georgia was second with a 34 percent increase in traffic fatalities during the initial six months of 2016. The researchers note a number of factors unrelated to driving behavior that have spurred the rise in accident-related deaths, including an improved economy, lower fuel prices, and declines in unemployment rates.

Despite the influence of these non-economic factors on traffic-fatality rates, the NSC has advanced a number of suggestions to curb this trend:

• Parents should stay engaged in their teens’ driving habits.
• Drivers should require every vehicle occupant to buckle up on every trip.
• Motorists should never operate a vehicle when sleepy or fatigued.
• Motor vehicle owners should be familiar with their vehicle safety systems and know how to use them correctly.
• Travelers should always have a designated driver to avoid operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicating substance.
• A driver’s cell phone should be powered down before operating a motor vehicle.
• Motorists should know where all vehicle blind spots are located.

Collectively, these suggestions by the NCS reflect the extent to which most auto collision fatalities are preventable. Alcohol impaired drivers, for example, account for approximately 10,000 fatalities per year. While public education campaigns and stricter penalties for motorists who engage in unsafe driving practices might reverse this trend, some experts note the benefits of equipping vehicles with new and more advanced safety equipment. These safety features include adaptive headlights to see around curves and automatic collision avoidance systems.