During the first half of 2016, there were close to 18,000 fatalities in accidents on roadways throughout the United States, according to the Washington Post. This is an increase of more than 10 percent compared with the number of fatalities on U.S. roads during the first half of 2015. Unfortunately, there was also a substantial increase in fatalities from 2014 to 2015. This means that U.S. roads have gotten much less safe over the past two years.
As more people are hurt and killed in crashes, it becomes essential for victims and their families to understand their legal rights. New York City injury attorneys can provide representation to the injured and to families of the deceased as they seek compensation for losses caused by irresponsible drivers.
Roadway Deaths Are on the Rise in the U.S.
In 2015, there were a total of 35,092 people killed over the course of the entire year. This is a 7.2 percent increase in fatalities compared with 2014. The increase in deaths between 2014 and 2015 was the largest percentage increase in auto accident fatalities over the last 50 years. Fatality rates rose in almost all of the different categories of crashes, with more people in 2015 than in 2014 being killed in bike accidents, accidents involving cars and trucks, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents and drunk driving accidents.
The number of people injured in auto accidents also increased from 2.34 million people hurt in auto accidents in 2014 to 2.44 million people hurt in auto accidents in 2015.
Since the death and injury toll was already rising, it is disturbing that the preliminary data from the first half of 2016 shows a higher number of fatalities than a year prior. If the trend from the first six months continues through the second half of the year, the rise in fatalities from 2015 to 2016 will be the largest percent increase in traffic deaths since the 1960’s. This means that 2016 is likely to be another very bad year for road safety, with far more people dying than just a few short years ago.
There are many reasons for the rising number of roadway deaths. States throughout the U.S. have been increasing speed limits, which the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates may be responsible for around 1,900 additional deaths over the course of a year. Improving economic conditions have also led to more people being on the roads and traveling more miles. In fact, between January and June of 2016, drivers traveled an estimated 50.5 billion more miles than during the same time period in 2015.
While all of these factors can explain why more people are dying, they don’t justify an increase in tragic accidents. Drivers should be cautious and avoid behaviors likely to result in fatalities. When a motorist makes an unsafe choice and causes a crash to occur, the NYC injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff can provide representation to victims or to surviving family members of those killed in the accident. Contact us today.