Traffic deaths have fallen by almost 25 percent in the last 10 years, and motor vehicle accident injuries have been reduced too. According to the most recent ascertainable statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was a slight increase of .01 percent in 2014 from 2013. What’s startling though is that for the first half of 2015, the death estimate has increased by 8.1 percent from 2014. This represents a significant spike from previous years.
Fatal car accident
Although the 2015 numbers are estimates and subject to change, 2014 was the safest year for drivers and occupants of motor vehicles since the NHTSA began collecting motor vehicle fatality data in 1975. Although bicyclist deaths also declined for the first half of 2015, pedestrian deaths increased by 3.1 percent.
The NHTSA is at the forefront of efforts to reduce roadway fatalities. It’s now focusing on behavioral issues to further reduce the number of traffic fatalities and injuries. Those issues include but aren’t limited to:
- Drunk and drugged driving
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Seat belt usage
- Child car seats
Other efforts will be made to protect those who are more vulnerable on or near the road like motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Some behavioral factors seem to never change though like drunk driving, seat belt and motorcycle helmet use.
drunk driving deadly fatal motor vehicle crash
In 2014, drunk driving was attributable to 9,967 or one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities that year. Almost half of all fatalities involved drivers or passengers who weren’t wearing seat belts. States with strong helmet laws had significantly fewer motorcycle fatalities. Distracted and drowsy drivers were responsible for about 13 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities.
There is recourse for those who lost family members in motor vehicle collisions, but monetary compensation won’t replace the loss of a life. All states have laws that govern wrongful deaths, and of course, lawsuits can be filed by or for those who were injured but survived crashes. Damages in these cases can include but aren’t limited to:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Any permanent disability
- Any permanent disfigurement
- Funeral and burial expenses in death cases
There are time limitations in Rhode Island within which any action seeking compensation for wrongful death or injuries must be filed. If a municipal entity was involved, those time limitations can be significantly shortened. A knowledgeable and experienced RI personal injury attorney will be familiar with those filing deadlines.