The recent studies are in and the numbers are worrisome. According to data pulled by the nonprofit organization, the National Safety Council, traffic fatalities are up by 14 percent already for 2015. If this trend continues, this will be the deadliest year for motorists since 2007.
According to the NSC, there were more than 18,600 traffic-related deaths from January to June 2015. This was compared to the 16,400 deaths for the same period in 2014. The NSC also estimates those deaths to cost $152 billion. These costs include:
- Medical expenses
- Administrative fees
- Lost wages
- Loss of productivity
- Employer costs
- Property damage
- Funeral costs
The cost of these fatalities is up by 24 percent from the same period in 2014 as well.
What Is Causing the Sudden Increase in Traffic Fatalities?
The NSC has identified three factors which contribute to the increased number of accident-related fatalities. These three include:
- Cheaper Gas Prices – Gas prices are experiencing historic lows – in fact, on average, gas prices are down by 30 percent compared to 2014. Because gas is so much more affordable, there are more people driving and more cars on the road throughout the day – increasing the likelihood of an accident.
- Improving Job Market – Also, the job market is improving and has continued to add new jobs throughout 2015. As the United States economy continues to rise and more jobs are added, there will be even more drivers commuting to and from work each day – which is partly to blame for the increase in traffic deaths.
- Distracted Driving – Distracted driving kills thousands of Americans each year and unfortunately the state bans on talking or texting while driving do not seem to make much of a difference. Instead, Americans continue to use their devices while driving even though they know the risks to themselves and others.
Is There Anything Drivers Can Do?
Drivers cannot prevent others from causing accidents, but there are things they can do to help reduce their own risk of causing an accident. These things include:
- Carpooling to work – by ride sharing you can help reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
- Get plenty of rest before getting behind the wheel – it not only prevents drowsy driving, but tiredness has been linked to road rage as well.
- Never drive and use hand-held devices, hands-free devices or other distractions. Even if it is not illegal where you live, distracted driving has been proven to cause more accidents and fatalities in the United States than drunken driving.
Injured in an Accident? Contact a PA Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq. today. We can assess your case for free and help determine if you are eligible for compensation. Contact us online to get started or schedule your free consultation at 1-800-465-8795 now.