According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the estimated number of traffic deaths rose by eight percent during the first nine months of 2016, continuing a rising trend since 2014.
During the first nine months of 2016, there were approximately 27,875 traffic-related fatalities, as opposed to the 25,808 deaths that were reported during the same time period in 2015.
Comparing these results, the number of deaths reported in 2016 equated to 1.15 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2016, while there were 1.10 deaths per 100 million miles traveled in 2015.
Although more drivers have been reported on U.S. roads, the number of traffic fatalities reported in 2016 surpassed the trend of additional motorists.
The NHTSA attributed a three percent rise in vehicle miles during the first nine months of 2016 to cheaper fuel prices and a better economy. However, traffic safety experts do not believe that an increase in drivers explains the rising U.S. auto fatality rate.
By separating all 50 states into smaller regions, the NHTSA was able to identify trends within each region. The six states comprising the New England region, experienced a 20 percent increase in traffic fatalities during the first nine months of 2016.
However, the region that includes Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota, displayed only a one percent rise in traffic fatalities.
Other heavy traffic areas, such as New York City, experienced a 23 percent drop in deaths during the selected time in 2016.
Surprisingly, the recent increase in traffic deaths comes as a time when auto manufacturers are including more technological safety features and improvements in vehicles.
The NHTSA and traffic safety experts are also concerned about unsafe driving behaviors, such as distracted driving, that could be attributed to the rising fatality rate. Dangerous trends, like cellphone usage while driving, increased during 2016 and are also difficult to identify and enforce.
Experiencing the devastation of a car accident or the loss of a loved one due to a negligent driver can be traumatic.
At Henness & Haight, we are experienced in helping people whose lives are changed by horrific car collisions. Our Las Vegas car accident attorneys understand the difficulties victims and families may be experiencing and will work tirelessly on your behalf to secure maximized compensation and justice. We work on a contingency fee basis and only get paid when you receive a fair outcome. Set up your free legal consultation and explore your options.