Despite numerous driving safety campaigns across the country and the integration of new vehicle safety technology, traffic fatalities in the U.S. increased by 8% in 2015 over 2014. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), over 38,000 people were killed and 4.4 million were seriously injured on U.S. roadways last year. This represents the largest year-over-year increase in 50 years, and reverses a longer decreasing trend of motor vehicle deaths.
What is even more exasperating is that the increase in motor vehicle deaths in Florida was more than double the U.S. average, at 18%. Florida ranked #3 for largest increase in traffic fatalities, following Oregon and Georgia. Meanwhile, thirteen states, including New Mexico and Kansas, actually showed improvement in traffic fatalities with significant decreases in 2015 over 2014.
While further research is needed to understand the detailed causes, the NSC notes that “while many factors likely contributed to the fatality increase, a stronger economy and lower unemployment rates are likely at the core of the trend. Average gas prices were 28% lower in 2015 than in 2014 and are projected to continue dropping this year, making driving more affordable for many Americans.”  People are driving more miles. In fact, the Department of Transportation estimated that motorists drove an average of 3.5% more miles in 2015 than 2014.
Based on safety tips developed by NSC, we also recommend the following to help make daily driving a safer activity:
- Always buckle up!
- Get enough sleep; take breaks if needed.
- Set up any navigation systems before leaving home; avoid touching systems while driving.
- Avoid using a cell phone or any electronic device when driving (even hands-free).
- Find a designated driver (alcohol- and drug-free) or find another safe option to get home.
- Pay careful attention to teen drivers, as they are at higher risk of causing a crash.
- Read “My Car Does What“, a website developed by NSC to help drivers understand newer vehicle features including adaptive cruise control and backup cameras.
If you, a family member, or a friend has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help.
Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties. The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work. Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury. For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.