Complacency, Poor Driving Habits Contribute to Fatality Increase

potential car accidentAccording to the National Safety Council (NSC), 2016 was the deadliest year for U.S. roads since 2007.

A complacent belief that car accidents are inevitable, combined with lax attitudes toward high-risk dangerous driving behaviors, significantly contributed to the rising U.S. traffic fatality rate, according to NSC officials.

Approximately 40,000 people were killed in deadly auto accidents across the country in 2016, leading to a six percent increase over 2015 and a 14 percent increase since 2014.

In California, deaths from motor vehicle accidents exceeded the national average, increasing by 13 percent compared to last year and 19 percent since 2014. California was second in the U.S. for the highest number of traffic fatalities, only behind Texas with 3,751 auto accident deaths.

An improved U.S. economy and recovering job market mean more drivers are able to afford to travel longer distances to commute for work and personal destinations, potentially contributing to the rising fatality rate, according to the NSC and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

More Drivers Less Focused on Safety

California’s Office of Traffic Safety has identified distracted driving, impairment by drugs and alcohol, and speeding as the top causes of fatal accidents.

A recent survey conducted by the NSC aimed to determine driver mentality toward high-risk behavior while operating a vehicle. The results revealed that, while 83 percent of those surveyed were concerned about road safety, a large portion of participants still found it acceptable to engage in dangerous behavior while driving:

  • 64 percent of participants are comfortable with speeding
  • 47 percent of participants admit to regularly text while driving
  • 13 percent of participants believe they can safely operate a vehicle while impaired by marijuana
  • 10 percent of participants said they could drive after consuming too much alcohol

The NSC and the NHTSA believe that stronger initiatives to crack down on dangerous driving behaviors are needed to improve U.S. roadway safety.

Improvements in traffic and vehicle safety technology would also be beneficial. By providing more vehicles with cautionary technology, such as automatic braking and vehicle-to-vehicle communication capabilities, the number of traffic fatalities could dwindle dramatically, according to NSC officials.

If you have lost someone you love in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. A Sacramento personal injury lawyer at the Arnold Law Firm can help you explore your options through a free, no obligation consultation. We only charge a fee if we are able to recover compensation for your claim.

Call (916) 777-7777 to get help after a collision.