In the first six months of 2015, traffic fatalities increased by 14 percent nationally when compared to last year, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).
About 19,000 people in the U.S. have lost their lives in an auto accident so far. If the trend continues, traffic fatalities could exceed 40,000, the first time since 2007. According to the president of the NSC, an increase was noted in the last quarter of 2014, and has continued through the start of 2015.
Despite the high number, the NSC has only looked at numbers from January through June; August and July are considered the deadliest months of the year.
An increased amount of traveled miles may be partly to blame for the rise of traffic fatalities. In the first five months of 2015, Americans drove 1.26 trillion miles. In 2007, when fatalities were also high, Americans had driven 1.23 trillion miles during the same time period. An improved economy and lower gas prices have contributed to increased travel.
While more and more drivers are hitting the road, increased distractions and raised speed limits could be causing more dangerous conditions and an increased risk of a fatal accident.
Not all the news is negative though. The NSC notes that deaths due to crashes involving drunk drivers have decreased to 30 percent from 50 percent. Teen driving fatalities have also decreased, while seatbelt use is up.
Furthermore, increased safety systems in vehicles are preventing accidents. With motion detectors, back-up cameras and other safety features becoming standard in motor vehicles, it could lead to less accidents.
If someone you love was fatally injured in a car crash caused by a careless driver, our wrongful death attorneys can help you fight for justice. We offer free case reviews and can help you determine if you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.