New statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) were not as safety advocates hoped. According to the government, there were more than 34,000 people who were killed in traffic accidents across the U.S. in 2012. This number serves as a 5 percent increase from the previous year. We’ve been seeing decreases each year over the past six years since reaching a near-term peak in 2005, decreasing by more than 25 percent from 2005 to 2011. But that all changed in 2012.
Our Naples car accident lawyers understand that this increase in traffic accident fatalities could have been caused by a number of factors, but officials are targeting one reason in particular. Officials are crediting the increase in driving as the main cause. As our economy continues to recover, motorists are feeling more comfortable in spending at the pump and taking those much needed vacations that they missed out on in recent years. More employees are making the commute back and forth to work as the economy improves. With a thriving economy, we typically see more miles driven and an increase in accidents.
According to the NHTSA, Region 4 (including Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee) saw a 2 percent increase in the number of traffic accident fatalities from 2011 to 2012.
These accidents are getting quite costly, too. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), direct costs from accidents in 2012 rose to more than $275 billion. Included in these costs were medical expenses, productivity loses, property damage, employer costs and administrative expenses. These costs were estimated to have risen about 5 percent from the year before as well.
In addition to the increase in vehicle miles traveled in 2012, officials are also looking at driver distractions as a common cause of these accidents. Smartphones and distracted-driving accidents accounted for roughly 20 percent of all traffic accidents recorded throughout the year. But there are other incidents that may have led to the increase. Officials are speculating that lack of seat belt usage, drunk driving, teen driver’s inexperience, drowsy driving and unsafe truck drivers were also top causes of traffic accident fatalities. The truth of the matter is that many of these accidents are completely preventable. Drivers need to pay more attention behind the wheel and ensure that safety is their number one concern. It’s a sad fact, but we all forget sometimes.
Drivers are encouraged to enroll in a Florida Driving School. It’s never too late to brush up on your skills behind the wheel. Your refreshed knowledge and awareness can actually wind up saving your life, and it can help to lower your insurance premium with many companies. Classroom courses are available throughout Central Florida. For some classroom courses, including Basic Driver Improvement, First Time Driver, and DUI, you can view schedules and register online. Online courses including traffic school courses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, is a law firm that is dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims. If you were injured in an accident, call for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-283-2900.
More Blog Entries:
New Regulations Limit “Hours of Service” for Truckers, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, June 18, 2013
Your Vehicle Choice and Your Safety in an Accident, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, June 7, 2013