From January through June of 2016, 19,100 people lost their lives on the nation’s roadways and about 2.2 million more suffered injuries in motor vehicle accidents.
The National Safety Council has revealed that this fatality statistic reflects a troubling nine percent increase from the first six months of 2015 and an even more alarming 18 percent increase from the same time period in 2014. The cost of the deaths and car accident injuries for the first half of 2016 is estimated to be at about $205 billion.
Problems on the nation’s roadways
“Our complacency is killing us,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman. Hersman is the president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Americans should demand change to prioritize safety actions and protect ourselves from one of the leading causes of preventable death,” she added. Otherwise, the total number of motor vehicle accident deaths for the entirety of 2016 could exceed 40,000. If so, it would be the first time in nine years that traffic fatalities had surpassed that threshold.
Some of the states that have seen the most significant upward trends in traffic fatalities are Vermont (up 82 percent since late 2014), Oregon, New Hampshire, and Florida.
These statistics are certainly unacceptable, but there may be a few factors behind the upward trend. During the first half of 2016, drivers in the U.S. logged an estimated 1.58 trillion miles. This was a 3.3 percent increase over the same time period during 2015. Additionally, the average gas prices from January through June were 16 percent lower than they were during 2015. “While many factors likely contributed to the fatality increase, a stronger economy and lower unemployment rates are at the core of the trend,” said a written statement released by the National Safety Council.
Understanding your legal rights and options
After a car crash occurs, it can be difficult to think clearly. Victims may want to simply put the matter behind them as quickly as possible and so many of them accept the first settlement offered by the insurance carrier. But all too often, these settlements aren’t sufficient to cover medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other losses. These cases become even more complex when one or more car crash victims have lost their lives.
A skilled car accident lawyer can aggressively negotiate with the insurance carrier to secure a fair settlement. If a lawsuit is necessary; however, car accident victims and their families can rest assured that their legal counsel will be there every step of the way to provide effective advocacy.
The Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers has developed a sterling reputation among Louisiana families. Mr. Bernard has consistently secured maximum compensation for his valued clients following car accidents, motorcycle crashes, truck collisions, and other types of accidents.
Call our office today at 337.989.2278 to request a free case evaluation at our Lafayette, Baton Rouge or Lake Charles locations.
Traffic fatality resources:
- PBS NewsHour, Traffic deaths up nearly 20 percent since 2014, government says, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/traffic-deaths-injuries-cost-205-billion-far-2016/
- NPR, Traffic Deaths In 2015 Climb By Largest Increase In Decades, http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/08/29/491854557/traffic-deaths-climb-by-largest-increase-in-decades