The last decade has brought a number of new technologies to motor vehicles to improve the safety on our roadways. From back-up cameras and sensors to electronic stability control, collision warning systems, and automated emergency braking, our motor vehicles are becoming safer as we move closer to self-driving vehicles.
However, amidst the integration of many novel technologies, national vehicle accident data shows a shocking contradiction: traffic fatalities increased 8.1% from 2014 to 2015, the largest annual increase in over half a century. This translates to over 670 individuals killed weekly, resulting in over 35,000 traffic fatalities in 2015. Moreover, the traffic fatality increase from 2014 to 2015 was even higher for SUVs, at 10.1%. 
With better safety measures in vehicles, what is causing this surge in vehicle accident fatalities?
To begin with, higher employment levels and lower gas prices may help explain a larger number of people on the road and a greater number of miles travelled on the road, contributing to the higher fatality numbers. But there is something else that’s likely the major contributing factor: distracted driving, namely, using smart phones while driving.
Sound the alarm in Florida
Since the trend of increasing traffic fatalities started in 2014, traffic fatalities are up 43% in Florida, the highest of any state. 
What is being done to combat this deadly surge in fatalities?
The automotive and cell phone industries have put some initiatives in place to reduce distracted driving in our country. But so much more needs to be done.
- Organizations such as AT&T, the US Department of Transportation, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are pushing nationwide campaigns to reduce distracted driving.
- Automakers are pledging to have automated emergency braking as standard equipment beginning in 2022.
- The Department of Transportation is working with vendors to develop applications that analyze how factors such as travel and climate change affect the risk of crash fatalities.
What can you do?
There are many things you can do to help reduce distracted driving!
- Test your knowledge: Cell Phone Myths vs. Reality by clicking here.
- Never use your cell phone when driving. Visit http://www.distraction.gov to learn more about distracted driving and the affect it has on our collective safety.
- Introduce friends and family to “It Can Wait”, a strong campaign against texting and driving. https://www.itcanwait.com/all
- Take the pledge. Share through social media #itcanwait and encourage everyone you know to help make our roads safer by also taking the pledge. https://www.itcanwait.com/pledge
- Encourage family members to avoid using cell phones when driving. It can wait.
If you or a loved one was involved in a vehicle accident, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. may be able to help. Contact us at (954) 428-9333 or www.goldmandaszkal.com. Learn more about distracted driving here.
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.