Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths Surged More than 7% in 2015, NHTSA Announces
For the first time in nearly a decade, the rate of deadly motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. increased dramatically, hitting the highest numbers recorded since 2008.
This is according to the latest reports released by officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), who have revealed that:
- While nearly 32,700 people were killed in auto wrecks on U.S. roadways in 2014, last year, about 35,200 traffic fatalities occurred in the U.S. (In 2008, the highest level of crash-related deaths occurred, when just over 37,400 fatalities were recorded).
- The greatest spikes in traffic deaths were associated with bicycle riders, pedestrians and motorcyclists. However, drivers and vehicle occupants also saw a surge in fatality rates in 2015.
- In terms of the types of crashes, those associated with the most significant increases in traffic fatalities were accidents involving teen motorists, as well as rollovers (of passenger vehicles) and crashes involving at least one large truck.
Although authorities and researchers are still working to finalize the traffic fatality data from 2015, they are already reportedly making an effort to try to curb this trend and bring the motor vehicle death rate in the nation down.
Time to Take Action: What Authorities Are Doing to Prevent Traffic Fatalities
In an attempt to save more lives and prevent traffic deaths on American roads, NHTSA officials are taking various actions, including (but not necessarily exclusive to):
- Urging “safety partners, state and local elected officials, technologists, data scientists, and policy experts” to get involved in finding solutions to reduce, if not prevent, motor vehicle-related fatalities
- Issuing “new guidance” aimed at enhancing vehicle safety technologies and safety performance metrics
- Working with automakers to get certain safety features, such as automatic emergency braking, to become standard features of passenger vehicles
- Developing additional public education and awareness campaigns focused on curbing driver misconduct that often contributes to deadly crashes (such as drunk driving, distracted driving and reckless driving).
Speaking about these efforts, as well as officials’ concerns about the troubling increase in U.S. traffic fatalities in 2015, NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind has stated:
As the economy has improved and gas prices have fallen, more Americans are driving more miles… But that only explains part of the increase. Ninety-four percent of crashes can be tied back to a human choice or error, so we know we need to focus our efforts on improving human behavior while promoting vehicle technology that not only protects people in crashes, but helps prevent crashes in the first place.
Are you surprised to learn of the surge in traffic deaths in 2015? Do you think regulators are doing enough to try to end this troubling trend? Sound off on our Facebook & Google+ pages.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a traffic crash, contact a Middlesex County personal injury lawyer at Mayo Law for more information about your options for financial recovery and justice.
For more than two decades, the experienced attorneys at Mayo & Russ have been dedicated to aggressively advocating the rights of those who have been hurt in traffic crashes, including families who have lost a loved one to deadly wrecks.
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