According to preliminary data released earlier this month by the National Safety Council (NSC), 2018 marked the third straight year that over 40,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents. This is the first time since the Great Recession that our country has experienced such a large number of car accident fatalities in three consecutive years.
The preliminary estimates for 2018 indicate a 1% decline in accident fatalities from 2017. In addition, approximately 4.5 million individuals suffered serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents last year. This represents a roughly 1% decline from the injury totals in 2017.
The following states experienced at least a 5.8% increase in motor vehicle fatalities in 2018:
- New Hampshire
- Washington DC
Conversely, several states experienced vastly fewer accident deaths, registering at least a 9.4% decline last year:
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
While it appears that car accident fatalities are starting to level off again, the roughly 40,000 deaths registered in 2018 still represents a 14% increase over the total just four years ago. Clearly, we still have a long way to go to improve the safety of our nation’s roads.
Reasons for these High Fatality Rates
While the National Safety Council data doesn’t indicate the direct cause of each collision documented in the report, there are certain trends that have been common in recent years. Distracted driving remains one of the primary causes of car accidents. Due to our nation’s rampant dependence on and use of handheld devices, it is highly likely that distracted driving will continue to be a serious safety concern over the next few years.
In addition, drowsy driving and drunk driving remain prevalent issues impacting the safety of our nation’s roads. While every state has increased the severity of consequences associated with drinking and driving over the past decade, this still continues to be a serious issue that doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.
Tips for Improving Road Safety
The NSC has made the following recommendations to help improve the safety on our nation’s roads:
- Practice defensive driving
- Always make sure you and all your passengers are wearing seatbelts
- Designate a sober driver, use taxi services or take public transportation whenever you are out at social functions
- Get plenty of sleep before road trips to avoid driver fatigue
- Refrain from using handheld devices and other driver distractions behind the wheel
- Recognize the dangers of drugged driving, including impairment caused by prescription opioid medications
- Work with teenage drivers to instill good driving habits
- Make sure you know yow to use your vehicle’s safety systems
- Fix recalls immediately to eliminate the safety issues associated with these vehicle defects
Jensen Phelan Law Firm Can Help
If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your damages. The attorneys at the Jensen Phelan Law Firm have over 50 years of combined experience handling car accident claims, and we’ll fight aggressively to protect your rights every step of the way.
Our lawyers have seen firsthand the devastation caused by serious vehicle accidents. We understand that you and your family may be going through a difficult time due to costly medical bills and lost wages as you recover from your injuries. We’ll focus all of our energy on recovering the compensation you deserve so that you can put your energy towards recovering from your injuries.
Contact our Prescott Car Accident Lawyers
Please contact the Jensen Phelan Law Firm using the form on this page or call 928-778-2260 today to schedule a complimentary consultation. We serve clients in Prescott, Cottonwood and the surrounding areas of Arizona.