Report: 2016 sees increase in fatal motor vehicle collisions
Releasing its annual crash data report for 2016, the NHTSA notes an increase in motor vehicle accident-related deaths as compared to the prior year.
Since the advent of automobiles, crashes have been an unfortunate occurrence on the roads throughout California and the rest of the U.S. While some motor vehicle collisions may result in little or no property damage, all too often, many lead to serious personal injury or death for the drivers and passengers involved. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 2016 saw a significant increase in fatal auto accidents as compared to the 2015 calendar year.
The NHTSA recently released its annual fatal traffic crash data report. In 2016, there was a 2.2 percent increase in the number of vehicle miles driven throughout the U.S. Unfortunately, however, that increase coincides with a 5.6 percent increase in car wreck-related deaths. Any number of factors may contribute to the occurrence of such accidents, including drunk driving, speeding and distracted driving.
Despite ever-growing awareness of the dangers, drunk driving continues to be a leading cause of deadly auto collisions. In 2016, the NHTSA reports that 10,497 people died as a result of drunk driving accidents – a 1.7 percent increase from 2015.
The dangers of drinking and driving are the result of the effects that consuming alcohol may have on the body. Alcohol reduces people’s muscle coordination, thinking, reasoning and brain function. Consequently, drivers may experience negative effects after as few as a couple of drinks, which may significantly impair their ability to safely operate their motor vehicles and increase their risk of being involved in a wreck.
For some, driving at high rates of speed can be an unbeatable thrill. However, the NHTSA disclosed that speed-related accidents resulted in nearly as many fatalities as drunk driving in 2016. A 4 percent increase from 2015, there were 10,111 people killed in wrecks involving speed in 2016. While driving fast may be an adrenaline rush, the NHTSA points out that driver’s risk of losing control of their vehicles may be greater, the effectiveness of protective equipment in their automobiles may be reduced and the severity of collisions may be increased when they are traveling at high rates of speed.
From passengers talking, to their radio dials and cell phones, distractions abound for motorists on the roads in California and across the country. Since these types of behaviors may take people’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or attention off the task of driving, motorists may be less able to spot and react to changes in driving conditions or hazards that may arise. This may increase drivers’ risk of getting into a crash, which may result in serious injuries or death for them, their passengers or the occupants of the other vehicles involved.
Seeking legal guidance
When motor vehicle accidents occur in California, the results may be devastating for those involved, as well as the loved ones they may leave behind. Families may not only lose the companionship of those who are killed in auto collisions, they may also incur a range of undue expenses, including medical bills and funerary costs. Under some circumstances, however, the drivers responsible for causing such wrecks may be held liable. Thus, those who have experienced such situations may find it of benefit to discuss their rights and options with an attorney.