Christina Rivenbark & Associates ATTORNEYS AT LAW

Fatal car accidents increased last year

Car accidents are always happening and unfortunately, fatal car accidents increased throughout the country last year. Despite traffic fatalities declining during the previous years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 34,080 people were killed in traffic accidents last year, which was a 5.3 percent increase from 2011. 

The increase in fatal car accidents was the first time fatal traffic accidents had increased two years in a row since 2005. Government agencies are attributing the increase to more vehicles on the road as the economy continues to improve. The Governors Highway Safety Association said they were not surprised that fatalities increased among motorists as more drivers are on the road with so many different types of distractions. They also said that they expected fatalities to increase at some point because they had been declining for several years and fatalities tend to increase and decrease throughout the decade. 

Data from the Federal Highway Administration shows that the number of fatalities per miles traveled has also increased. They report that the number of miles traveled in 2012 increased, and that the fatality rate will also rise because of this. 

Since traffic fatalities increased, that means that fatal motorcycle accidents also increased in the U.S. The GHSA said they were concerned that more motorcyclists are dying in accidents compared to previous years. Reports show that motorcyclists accounted for almost 15 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2012, the highest percentage they have ever recorded. 

The GHSA said that universal helmet laws could help decrease the number of fatal motorcycle accidents in the country and that states also need to make more of an effort to increase safety for these riders. 

Source: USA Today, "In a sharp trend reversal, highway fatalities rise," Larry Copeland, May 3, 2013

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