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NHTSA: Traffic Fatalities Significantly Increased During 2016

police officer next to carThere has been a sharp rise in the number of people dying from car crashes, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents during the first half of 2016, according to the October issue of Traffic Safety Facts –a publication of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Compared to the same time period in 2015, there was a 10 percent increase in traffic deaths in the first half of this year. NHTSA places the estimate at almost 18,000 traffic deaths from January to June. During that same time period in 2015, there were almost 16,000 fatalities on the nation’s roadways.

Here at the law firm of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye, we’re deeply troubled by this new data. Even one wrongful death is one too many. That’s why our personal injury lawyers have made it their life’s work to provide effective legal advocacy for injured survivors and bereaved family members.

The crash data

It’s important to note that so far, the crash data have not been finalized. The NHTSA expects that the final data for 2015 and the annual file for 2016 won’t be available for review until the fall of 2017. It is entirely possible that the final statistics will be recalculated; however, it’s still likely that the first half of 2016 will represent a troubling upward climb in traffic fatalities. The NHTSA noted that so far, 2016 hasn’t necessarily seen a drastic increase in the number of car accident fatalities. Rather, the increase in deaths is primarily attributed to the rise in the number of deaths from motorcycle, pedestrian, and cyclist accidents.

In 2015, there were over 5,300 pedestrian accident deaths, which represented a 9.5 percent increase. Also in 2015, there were 818 bicyclist deaths, which represented a 12.2 percent increase. Both of those fatality totals were the highest they had been for those respective groups for the past two decades.

Possible reasons for the rising trend

Of course, traffic accidents are usually preventable simply by improving driver behaviors (including curbing drunk and distracted driving) and by providing clear traffic signs and markers. However, there may be a few driving forces behind these troubling statistics.

From 2005 to 2013, there was a significant increase in the number of people who walked and cycled to work. In fact, one million more people chose non-motorized transportation in 2013 than in 2005. Yet, preliminary data show that Americans have also driven 50.5 billion miles more on the roadways during the first half of 2016 compared to the same time period in 2015. The increased demand for transportation is almost certainly playing a role in the increase in traffic fatalities.

Legal representation for New Yorkers

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye is a Long-Island based personal injury firm that offers complimentary consultations for individuals who have been harmed in vehicle accidents. If you’ve been affected by negligent or reckless driving, call us today at 800.469.7429.

We accept cases on a contingency basis, which means we don’t collect legal fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.