Traffic accident deaths increased 5.6 from 2015 to 2016
Last month, the US Department of Transportation released data on fatal traffic accidents in 2016. The data, which was compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), showed a 5.6 percent overall increase in deaths since 2015, for a total of 37,461 fatalities. This was only partially due to Americans driving more miles in 2016 and hence having more opportunities for accidents–the rate of fatalities per vehicle mile driven increased by 2.2 percent compared to 2015.
The NHTSA sorted the fatal accidents by cause to identify year-to-year trends in the kinds of risky behaviors that are taking lives. They found that:
- Deaths from distracted driving decreased 2.2 percent
- Deaths caused by driver fatigue decreased 3.5 percent
- Drunk driving deaths increased 1.7 percent
- Speeding-related deaths increased 4 percent
- Deaths where individuals were not wearing seatbelts increased 4.6 percent
Types of Traffic Accidents
When the data was sorted by accident type, the NHTSA found:
- Motorcycle deaths increased by 5.1 percent
- Pedestrian deaths increased by 9 percent
- Bicyclist deaths increased by 1.3 percent
The number of bicyclists killed in traffic accidents was actually the highest it has been since 1991, and the number of pedestrians killed was the highest since 1990. It makes sense that these types of accidents would result in more fatalities because motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists do not have the protection afforded by passenger vehicles.
Have You Lost a Loved One in a Traffic Accident?
In many cases, fatal traffic accidents are caused through the recklessness or negligence of another driver. In fact, according to the NHTSA, 94 percent of serious crashes in 2016 were linked to human choices.
In the event of a fatal traffic accident, the surviving family members of the deceased person can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. This will position them to receive compensation for current and future expenses related to their loss. For example, they can receive compensation for bills associated with the death, including medical bills, funeral expenses, and burial costs. They can also receive compensation for future benefits they would have received from the deceased person, such as the income they would have earned, the value of household services they would have performed, and the love, affection, and guidance they would have supplied.
If you need help with a wrongful death action, The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker is here for you. Feel free to call us at 800-333-0000 any time. The initial consultation is always free, and if you have valid legal grounds for a case we will represent you with no payment due upfront.