As of right now, 2007 holds the record as the deadliest year for motorists, but if the numbers continue to increase as they have, 2015 will soon take its place as the deadliest for drivers. Already this year traffic deaths are on the rise by 14 percent, according to a recent article published by CNN.
The National Safety Council, a non-profit organization, recently conducted a study assessing data from vehicle accidents and deaths. They noted that there were over 18,600 deaths for 2015 from January to June. For the same period in 2014, there were 16,400 deaths – a 14 percent increase.
It is not just the death tolls that are alarming – it is also the costs associated with these deaths and injuries. The NSC estimates these deaths to cost $152 billion so far for 2015 – which is up by 24 percent from 2014. These costs can include losses such as:
- Wages and future earnings
- Employer costs
- Productivity losses
- Medical bills
- Administrative expenses
- Property damage
What is Causing the Dramatic Increase?
The NSC says there are three main contributors to the increase of traffic deaths in the United States, which include:
- Gas Prices – Gas prices have seen some all-time lows for 2015. In fact, the prices right now are down by 30 percent compared to the same period in 2014. With gas being so much cheaper, there are more people driving and the heavier congestion leads to increased risk for accident.
- More Jobs – As the job market continues to improve, there will be more drivers on the road each day commuting. Already jobs have been steadily added to the market since the beginning of 2015 and it is only expected to continue as the overall economy improves.
- Distractions – While the first two contributing factors are economical – and unavoidable – the third contributing cause is easily avoided. The NSC states that distracted driving is also one of the reasons there has been an increase in the number of traffic fatalities for 2015. Despite state bans on texting and some states banning talking while driving, there are still hundreds of distracted driving accidents occurring. According to the NSC, Americans are addicted to their devices and still continue to use them despite the fact they know it is dangerous.
Reducing Your Risk
While you may not be able to control other drivers around you, there are things you can do to limit your own risks and possibly avoid causing an accident in the future. Some things you can do include:
- Putting away your cellphone and only using it outside of the car or in an emergency situation
- Limiting other distractions in the car with you – including navigation, radios or even talking to passengers
- Following posted speed limit signs and slowing down when traffic congestion is high
- Carpooling to work a few times per week – it will not only help you save gas, but reduce the number of cars on the road every morning and evening
Injured in a Car Accident? Contact a NYC Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, contact the attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. today. We offer free consultations and can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call us at 1-888-575-6410 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.