Fatal Auto Accidents Increased by 14%
As a personal injury attorney in Missouri, I pay close attention to the news and what trends are appearing. According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal (09/09/2015), the National Safety Council (NSC) has reported a high surge in fatal accidents across the U.S. in the first half of this year. In fact, according to the NSC, the number of fatal auto accidents is expected to exceed 40,000 this year, which would be the first time that has happened since 2007. Why the increase? Industry experts have pointed to a combination of factors, including low gas prices, adverse weather, and a financial upswing. The economic recovery means that more people are driving to work and to stores, and also, Americans have more disposable income so we are traveling more. In fact, according to the Federal Highway Administration, travel increased 3.5% to a record 1.54 trillion miles traveled through June 2015.
In addition to increased time on the roads, other experts have cited their beliefs that distracted driving is possibly to blame for the higher death rate. Between the technology that is built into modern car dashboards and the kind that fits neatly in our hands, American drivers have a plethora of options that are meant to entertain us. However, we’re employing these options at the wrong times, and paying a high price for our inability to focus on the roads. Despite the fact that most states have laws that ban all use of cell phones while driving, one in four car crashes involves cell phone use, according to the NSC. Cell phones are not the only culprits; we also play on tablets and game systems and watch videos on devices, as do our passengers, which serves to distract us further.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident, consult Attorney John M. Cichelero today for a free consultation.