When drivers are in a rush, distracted or intoxicated, this negligence and recklessness behind the wheel of a vehicle could be the culprit for some of the most severe crashes. Based on current national statistics, the risk faced by all travelers on the road, cyclists and pedestrians included, has increased. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a study of fatal motor vehicle accidents that occurred in 2016. Based on this study, 37,461 individuals were killed in collisions that occurred on U.S. roadways last year. This is a 5.6 percent increase from the previous year, amounting in nearly 2,000 more deaths.
With regard to passenger vehicle fatalities and motorcycle deaths, these types of accidents saw their highest rate since 2008. When it came to van occupant victims, their death rate rose 8.4 percent in 2016. Pedestrian fatalities saw a huge increase. Their death rate experienced a 9 percent increase, showing a rise in almost 500 deaths. This is the highest level of these crashes since 1990. Similarly, the bicyclist death rate was the highest it has been since 1991.
There are various reasons for these increases. One explanation is job growth and economic improvements. This puts more people in vehicles and more vehicles on the roadways. Another reason is the increase in miles traveled by vehicles. This rose by 2.2 percent last year. Finally, reckless driving behavior is consistently a factor in fatal crashes. This includes intoxication, failing to wear a seatbelt or helmet, speeding and fatigued driving.
Losing a loved one in a collision is a difficult situation. Dealing with a sudden death, especially at the hands of a negligent driver, can be challenging. Thus, it is important to consider your rights and legal resources. A wrongful death lawsuit could help hold a negligent driver accountable while also assisting with the recovery of compensation for losses and damages.
Source: Cbsnews.com, "Driving just got a lot deadlier," Ed Leefeldt, Oct. 10, 2017