Each year, data is collected on the total number of people killed in car crashes. Monitoring total fatalities, as well as fatality rates, shows whether the roads are becoming more or less safe. Preliminary data has now been released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the news is not good. The early numbers show that more people were killed in car wrecks over the course of 2015 than were killed in collisions during the previous year.
A death in a car accident is devastating for loved ones left behind. Dependents not only experience the loss of companionship that comes with an untimely death, but may also experience significant financial hardships caused by the loss of the financial contributions the deceased made during his lifetime. A Naples wrongful death attorney helps those left behind seek full and fair compensation for both economic and non-financial losses that result from car accident fatalities caused by negligence or wrongdoing.
Traffic Fatalities Increased in 2015
In 2014, there were 32,675 people killed in car accidents over the year. This is .1 percent fewer people who lost their lives compared with the fatality data from 2013. The fatality rate was a record low in 2014. Fatality rates are measured by comparing deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. There were 1.07 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2014.
In 2015, unfortunately, there has been an 8.1 percent rise in the fatality rate based on preliminary data. Fatality rates can be a more accurate measure of road safety than considering only the total number of deaths that occurred. Total deaths can rise whenever more people are on the roads because more people simply means a greater number of motorists who could possibly crash and get hurt or killed. Fatality rates account for miles driven and arrive at a number of fatalities that can be compared from year-to-year.
In 2015, more people drove than in 2014 because of falling gas prices and improving economic conditions. These economic factors provided more people with more money to do things like take road trips or go out to do activities. However, the rise in people on the roads alone cannot explain the increase in the fatality rate. For the fatality rate to increase means that drivers must be doing more dangerous things.
As NHTSA points out, there are plenty of high-risk behaviors going on, including drivers who are drunk or distracted operating vehicles. Around a third of fatal accidents involve a drunk driver and around 10 percent involve a distracted driver.
When a driver engages in anything unreasonably dangerous — from driving fatigued to using a cell phone — victims who get hurt by the driver’s behavior can pursue a claim for monetary compensation. A wrongful death attorney can help in situations where victims don’t survive to make their own claim. Loved ones of the deceased can pursue a case to help ensure the untimely death of the victim doesn’t go uncompensated. Contact Ryan Kuhl at The Kuhl Law Firm as soon as possible for help with your case.