According to the National Safety Council (NSC), traffic deaths have risen by 14 percent already in 2015 – making this year the deadliest year for motorists since 2007. The non-profit organization surveyed accident data from January to June 2015 and found that there were more than 18,600 deaths due to auto accidents. This is a significant increase from this same time period in 2014, which only saw 16,400 deaths.
The NSC also estimates that the cost of these deaths and injuries associated with these accidents costs $152 billion – which is up 24 percent from the same timeframe in 2014. The costs can include lost wages, productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative fees, employer costs and property damage costs.
Why the Sudden Increase in Traffic Fatalities?
The rise in traffic facilities is believed to be caused by three different items, which include:
- Cheaper Gas Prices Mean More Cars on the Road – Gas prices continue to remain low. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, gas prices are down by 30 percent since 2014. Because it is more affordable to commute, more vehicles are now on the road and fewer groups are carpooling or using public transit. The high volume of vehicles on the road increases the likelihood of accidents.
- More Jobs Mean More Commuters – In addition to cheaper gas prices, there has also been a significant increase in the number of jobs added to the U.S. market. Jobs are continuing to steadily increase in 2015 and the more individuals entering the workforce, the more vehicles on the road commuting to and from work.
- Distracted Driving Still Causing Traffic Fatalities – While the first two causes are not preventable, the third contributing factor is: distracted driving. The NSC states that distracted driving is still a common cause for accidents and accident-related deaths in the United States. They feel that Americans are “addicted to these devices,” and therefore, would risk their own safety and the safety of others to use them while driving. Even with nationwide bans and some states creating harsh penalties for cellphone use while driving, drivers continue to break the law.
What You Can Do
If you want to help reduce the number of traffic fatalities, there are things you can do to lessen your own risk:
- Never drive distracted or drive with individuals who engage in distracted driving;
- Carpool to work even if gas is cheap – you will only save more money;
- Use public transit a few times per week to decrease road congestion;
- Always use safe driving practices while on the road and never engage in reckless driving;
- Be aware of common distractions, including cellphones, radios and even talking to passengers in the car;
- And, never drink and drive.
Injured in an Accident? Contact a Louisville Car Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. It is imperative that you speak with a Louisville car accident attorney regarding your accident for a case assessment and to determine if you have a valid claim. Contact Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC online or call 800-991-0474 now to schedule your free consultation.