In 1975, The U.S. Department of Transportation started an annual tally of fatalities that occur as the result of motor vehicle crashes. Their 2015 statistics showed that 35,092 people died in highway crashes, an increase of 7 percent from the year before. In fact, these fatality figures are the highest since 2008. Among other factors, the causes included speeding, driving while intoxicated and lack of seatbelt use.
Why the numbers went up
Due to car crashes that occurred from January to June 2015, there were 2.3 million injuries that were serious enough to require medical attention, according to the National Safety Council. This was a 30 percent increase as compared to the same period the year before. Analysts at the NSC reason that the economy has had something to do with the rise in highway injuries and deaths. In a good economy, more jobs are being filled, so there are more people driving to work. People who are employed also have more spendable income, and are able to afford more leisure time and take more road trips.
Speeding, texting and drinking
Many people believe that they can multitask when they are behind the wheel. Instead of concentrating solely on driving, they talk on the phone, and send and receive emails and text messages, all of which can be deadly behavior. Others believe that they can operate a vehicle safely after having had a couple of drinks. Young people, who tend to feel they are invincible, think nothing of recklessly flying down a minor road, which happens to be where most fatalities attributed to speeding occur.
Other factors in fatal accidents
Data from 2013 compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that alcohol was a factor in 31 percent of all fatal car crashes that year. In fact, it is estimated that someone dies in an alcohol-related car wreck every 52 minutes in the U.S. The data indicates that most of the crashes occurred at night between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 5.59 a.m., and 30 percent of the alcohol-related fatalities happened on weekends.
Seeking legal help
If you lose a loved one in a vehicle accident, one of the priorities is to seek legal assistance so you understand your rights. In these cases, it is important to remember that a attorney experienced with motor vehicle accidents is standing by to help.