2015 Shows Increase in Traffic Fatalities

2015 Shows Increase in Traffic Fatalities

Recently, the Obama administration set a new goal that many people may consider admirable: to eliminate traffic fatalities within 30 years. And with news that traffic fatalities have increased, it’s especially prescient.

2015 Saw Increased Traffic Fatalities Nationwide

After decades of declining traffic fatalities, the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released numbers for 2015 that show a large increase. In 2015, 7.2% more people died in traffic incidents than in 2014. A total of 35,092 lives were lost due to traffic accidents in 2015.

While all segments except for large truck accidents increased over the previous year, some of the largest increases occurred in accidents involving:

  • Passenger cars and light trucks
  • Motorcycles
  • Pedestrians
  • Bicycles

Accidents where a driver was distracted increased by over 8%. I recently wrote about how we can help curb distracted driving. And while it’s a difficult process that involves commitment, it can help model appropriate driving behaviors for our children and affirm our commitment to safety.

The bad news about fatalities isn’t over. So far, 2016 is shaping up to be worse than 2015 for traffic fatalities. The first half of 2016 saw over 10% more traffic fatalities than the first half of 2015.

After five decades of few fatalities because of technological changes and safety measures, these statistics have proved disheartening. A Department of Transportation issued a call to action to help learn more about the increase, especially since it appears that many of these deaths were avoidable.

For the Obama administration and the NHTSA, it has encouraged another action.

Road to Zero: Eliminating Traffic Fatalities

According to the NHTSA press release, the “U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are joining forces with the National Safety Council (NSC) to launch the Road to Zero Coalition with the goal of ending fatalities on the nation’s roads within the next 30 years. The Department of Transportation has committed $1 million a year for the next three years to provide grants to organizations working on lifesaving programs.”

So what will this look like?

Road to Zero will first work on ramping up known lifesaving strategies such as educational efforts surrounding seatbelt and helmet use, installing rumble strips, and implementing or increasing behavior change campaigns (like those against distracted driving).

In addition, more studies will be done to determine what is working. That data will then be used to implement more effective campaigns.

The U.S. isn’t the first country to aim for zero traffic deaths. Other countries, most of which fare far better in their rate of traffic fatalities, have been working hard to eliminate preventable traffic deaths.

Involved in a Car Accident? Speak with a Tampa Car Accident Attorney

If you’ve been injured as a result of a car accident, you should consider speaking with a Tampa car accident attorney.

While Florida law requires all drivers be insured, sometimes insurance isn’t enough to cover medical costs, lost wages, and property damage. If a car accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, a Tampa car accident attorney can help you determine whether you have a viable claim.

Taking your case to court can help you receive more compensation to cover the costs of your medical care, lost wages, future medical care, pain and suffering, and property damage. For individuals severely injured because of someone else’s reckless driving, this can be especially helpful to ensure they receive the necessary medical help they need.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a knowledgeable Tampa car accident attorney and learn more about your legal options.