The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, recently announced that total roadway fatalities across the country dropped in 2017. The news is especially significant because both 2015 and 2016 witnessed significant rises in the number of people killed across the U.S. in accidents on the road, of 6.5% and 8.4%, respectively.
Preliminary figures for the first half of 2018 seem to indicate that the trend of decreasing fatalities was continuing into this year.
Altogether, 37,133 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents in 2017, according to the NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
Other data collected by the NHTSA was mixed. The data on pedestrian deaths was encouraging, as they too fell nearly 2% — the first time the numbers had fallen in four years. But the number of fatal crashes involving combination trucks climbed 5.8%.
More deaths occurred in urban settings than in rural ones throughout the nation, for the second consecutive year.
Speeding, Distracted Driving, and Alcohol Cited as Causes
Despite the drop year over year, the fact that more than 37,000 people lost their lives to crashes that were likely preventable is still cause for concern.
The NHTSA cited the top three dangers in vehicle accidents as being driving too fast for road conditions or over the speed limit, distracted driving, and driving under the influence (DUI).
In addition, the agency noted that driving while impaired by drugs was an emerging risk factor.
Drive Safely This Holiday Season
The lessons from the data are clear. When you drive, obey the speed limit and drive at a safe speed for road conditions. Don’t drive while distracted – which means no texting, e-mailing, playing online games, or even gazing off the road. Your eyes need to be on the road at all times to drive safely. If you have been drinking, don’t drive! Call a friend, family member, or ride service or designate a driver at social events. The same goes for drug use; never indulge and drive. Call a friend, family member, or ride service to get you.
Speak with Louisiana Car Accident Lawyer Bart Bernard
If you or a loved one has been in a motor vehicle accident in Louisiana, call the experienced car accident attorneys at the Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers. We have offices in both Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana. We will be happy to review your case.
Our initial consultation is free, so call today! Get it Done Right™ with Bart.
- U.S. Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Fact Research Note. 2017 Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview. October 2018. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812603.
- U.S. Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. U.S. DOT Announces 2017 Roadway Fatalities Down. October 3, 2018. https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/us-dot-announces-2017-roadway-fatalities-down.