The U.S. Department of Transportation recently released the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s data for fatal highway crashes for 2016, and it was not good. Data from across all 50 states and the District of Columbia showed that 37,461 people lost their lives as a result of fatal car accidents last year, which is an increase of 5.6% from 2015.
Included in the data was the total number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) on U.S. roads, which increased by 2.2 percent from the previous year. Unfortunately, the fatality rate also increased to 1.18 deaths per 100 million VMT, a 2.6 percent increase from 2015.
Additionally, the report stated that deaths from reckless driving such as speeding, alcohol impairment, and not wearing seatbelts have increased, while deaths resulting from distracted driving and drowsy driving have actually decreased slightly. Despite this decrease, it is clear that human choices still account for the majority of accidents. In fact, 94% of serious crashes are caused by negligence, errors, and mistakes on the road.
Here are the statistics from the 2016 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study on fatal highway crashes.
- Distraction-related deaths (3,450 fatalities) decreased by 2.2 percent
- Drowsy-driving deaths (803 fatalities) decreased by 3.5 percent
- Drunk-driving deaths (10,497 fatalities) increased by 1.7 percent
- Speeding-related deaths (10,111 fatalities) increased by 4.0 percent
- Unbelted deaths (10,428 fatalities) increased by 4.6 percent
- Motorcyclist deaths (5,286 fatalities – the largest number of motorcyclist fatalities since 2008) increased by 5.1 percent
- Pedestrian deaths (5,987 fatalities – the highest number since 1990) increased by 9.0 percent
- Bicyclist deaths (840 fatalities – the highest number since 1991) increased by 1.3 percent
It’s important to make sure you are always aware of your surroundings as a driver. Do not text and drive or allow any other major distractions in your car. In addition, never drink and drive and always wear a seatbelt. These may seem like commonplace practices, however there are still a large number of deaths happening due to people not following the rules of the road.
If you have been injured or a loved one killed in a negligent auto accident, it is very important that you secure legal representation immediately to preserve evidence and protect your legal rights.
(2017, October 06). USDOT Releases 2016 Fatal Traffic Crash Data. Retrieved October 18, 2017, from https://nhtsa.gov/press-releases/usdot-releases-2016-fatal-traffic-crash-data