American Roads Continue to Get More Dangerous

With the summer ending, many spent these months traveling after much-needed time off and celebrating national holidays including the Fourth of July. According to statistics compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), more people die on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year. The second deadliest holiday is New Year’s Day, due in part to alcohol consumption.

Deadliest in Years

Beyond this, recent statistics show that 2016 was one of the deadliest years for American drivers in almost a decade. This increase in traffic fatalities is despite public campaign warnings from the private and public sectors as well as safety innovations specific to distracted and drunk driving. The National Safety Council notes that 2016 was the first time since 2007 where more than 40,000 deaths that occurred within the year were attributed to motor vehicle accidents that happened on American roads. When compared to 2015 and 2016, the two-year increase was a marked 14%, the largest hike in traffic-related fatalities in more than five decades.

The increase in traffic-related deaths are likely attributable to job growth and low fuel prices, which encourages people to drive more for work and pleasure, according to experts. Safety advocates, on the other hand, argue that only explains part of the reason for the trend in deaths. Advocates claim the number of fatalities as a percentage of miles driven also increased and failure to use seat belts is part of the reason. Only 18 states in the country have laws on the books that mandate both front and rear occupants of passenger vehicles to wear seat belts. Fifteen states only allow law enforcement to issue a ticket for failure to wear a seatbelt if the driver is pulled over for other traffic violations.

Causes of Traffic Deaths

Data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows about 50% of all traffic deaths involve passengers or drivers who were not wearing a seatbelt. Almost one-third of these fatal accidents involve drivers who were impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. Beyond these causes, overwhelming evidence shows an increase in distracted driving, despite both vehicles and phones offering advanced technology that includes voice controls and hands-free features. While talking on the phone while driving can be dangerous in itself, now drivers are often using social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and others while behind the wheel taking their focus (and eyes) off the road.

Nevada Personal Injury Lawyers

If you or someone you know has been injured in a Nevada car accident due to the fault of another, or if someone you love has tragically died in a traffic accident, contact the Nevada personal injury attorneys at Parry & Pfau. These skilled attorneys have years of experience representing injured clients and their loved ones across Nevada. We can guide you every step of the way and help preserve your rights under Nevada law during this difficult time.

(image courtesy of Brandon Day)