The number of Americans who die in car crashes in 2015 is expected to be the highest since 2007. Although the year is not yet over, the Los Angeles Times reports that early data shows traffic deaths over the course of 2015 are already 14 percent higher compared with the number of fatalities that occurred during the same period of time in 2014. If the trend continues for the rest of the year, it could mean that more than 40,000 people will die in car accidents in 2015 compared with 32,675 fatalities in car accidents last year.
Car accident fatalities cause tremendous loss for close family members who are left behind. A Naples auto accident attorney can help those family members pursue legal action for wrongful death damages if they can prove another driver or third party was to blame. Wrongful deathdamages should compensate survivors for loss of the companionship of their deceased relative, as well as medical expenditures incurred in treating accident injuries and loss of the deceased’s wages. Even non-fatal collisions can lead to accident claims as victims seek compensation for personal injuries.
Why are More Americans Dying in Car Accidents?
There are a number of possible explanations for the rising death toll and the significant increase in car accident fatalities this year. One of the big reasons is the drop in gas prices. Gas prices hit the lowest price on Labor Day of 2015 in more than a decade and were more than $1 per gallon cheaper in 2015 than 2014. Lower gas prices mean more people driving and more drivers going longer distances.
Improving economic conditions overall have also expanded the number of drivers on the roads. Less unemployment means more people commuting to work and more people with money to travel and take road trips or go out with friends and family.
All of these factors have led to Americans driving an estimated 1.54 trillion miles during the first half of 2015. This is the highest number of miles ever driven, beating the previous record set in 2007. More drivers on the road means that there is more traffic and a greater overall risk of getting into a collision.
The increase in miles driven is not the only reason the roads may be more treacherous for motorists. Distracted driving is also a big concern, as cell phones and electronic devices become more of the norm in vehicles. Distraction is a factor in around 60 percent of crashes involving teen drivers today and people of all ages have increasingly begun paying more attention to their phones and electronics than the road… even as more states (including Florida) have passed laws banning or limiting texting and talking on the phone.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, help is available to you. Contact Ryan Kuhl at The Kelleher Firm as soon as possible to discuss your rights and options under the law.