2016 is shaping up to be the most dangerous driving year in the past nine years in the United States. Traffic fatalities are rising at an alarming rate and could top 40,000 by the end of the year.
In 2015, the National Safety Council (NSC) “issued its largest year-over-year percentage increase in 50 years” – and that was when fatalities had jumped only eight percent from the prior year.
Mid-way through 2016 (January through June), fatalities are up nine percent from the first six months of 2015 and 18 percent from the first six months of 2014.
If this disturbing rate continues, United States’ drivers could be looking at another record year for automobile fatalities. Here is how the number of annual automobile deaths have stacked up over the past few years:
- 35,369 fatalities in 2013
- 35,398 fatalities in 2014
- 38,300 fatalities in 2015
If the trend continues, 2016 could be the deadliest driving year since 2008. But what has caused the death toll to spike so abruptly over the past few years?
Lower Gas Prices Linked to Rising Automobile Fatalities
The NSC has stated that lower fuel prices are a contributing factor to the rising number of car accident fatalities in the U.S. over the past few years.
According to the NSC, “the increase in fatalities in 2016 likely reflects the effects of the low real gas prices that have averaged over 16 percent below 2015 levels for first six months of 2016, helping to produce a 3.3 percent increase in cumulative vehicle mileage through May.”
Put simply, lower gas prices have allowed more drivers to hit the road, and let Americans drive longer and farther every day. The increased traffic has directly resulted in more accidents, and, thus, more fatalities.
The number of serious injuries has also been cause for concern. Through the first half of 2016, 2.2 million drivers were injured in automobile accidents. The cost of these fatalities and injuries totaled a whopping $205 billion.
At this current rate, an average of more than 100 American drivers will die every day in car related accidents. And millions more will be injured.
To help keep you and your loved ones safe, check out these tips:
- Always drive alert: Never drive intoxicated, fatigued, or distracted.
- Monitor your teen’s behavior: Younger drivers are much more likely to die in motor vehicle accidents. Teach your children good driving habits and ensure they follow them.
While these tips can help keep you safer, there is no guarantee they will help you avoid a car accident. So if you or a loved one is involved in a vehicle related accident, make sure you get legal help.
Call Goldstein & Bashner Today
At Goldstein & Bashner, we know that under New York’s no-fault law, car drivers are entitled to compensation for medical bills and lost wages no matter who is at fault.
However, sometimes you need more than that. The car accident attorneys at Goldstein & Bashner can help you whether you are filing a no-fault or a third-party liability claim.Give us a call today: 516-874-4362.