The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported another increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents for 2016. 37,461 people died in crashes on roadways in the United States a 5.6% increase from 2015. The Texas Department of Transportation reported a similar increase of 5.45%, most of which were car accidents.
Why Do Serious Car Accidents Continue To Rise?
If you look at the data and analysis you can begin to consider what the likely causes are and try to explain why the rate continues to rise:
A stronger economy: More people are on the road traveling to an from work. This assertion is backed up with an increase of 2.2% in the total vehicle miles traveled (VMT) nationally. In Texas the increase in VMT was lower at 1.5% but both indicate that a better economy with more people entering or re-entering the workforce leads to an increase in the number of cars on the road.
Inexperienced young drivers: Teenagers becoming licensed drivers is nothing new but they continue to be one of the age groups that always leads the list when it comes to fatal car accidents in Texas. The temptation to text and drive or use apps like SnapChat while driving is something that teenagers and young adults struggle with. A car with even one or two friends can be a challenge for young drivers. In this situation distractions such as reading a text, talking on the phone, conversations with passengers or loud music, either combined or on their own can cause serious accidents.
Aggressive driving and speeding: The NHTSA analyzes data by crash type and rollover multi-vehicle crashes are at the top of the list increasing 9.1% in 2016. We know that speeding and aggressive driving can cause these types of accidents especially on freeways like interstate 10 or highway 59 in Houston. If you are driving a large pickup truck or an SUV rollover accidents can easily happen if you are speeding and these accidents can cause the most serious injuries.
Choices we make: Fatal crashes involving unrestrained occupants rose 4.6% and drunk driving 1.7%. These tragic accidents can been avoided if drivers and passengers would simply choose to buckle-up and wear their seat belts or request a ride home from Uber or Lyft if they have been drinking.
Universal helmet laws: Similar to the choices we make when driving our cars are the choices we make riding a motorcycle. We know that you risk serious injury if you ride without a helmet. NHTSA data shows that the number of motorcyclist fatalities is 11.5 times higher in states without universal helmet laws than states with these laws. Most people do not ride a bicycle without a helmet. Motorcycles travel at higher speeds and on freeways and highways with other drivers, the statistics seem to suggest that wearing a helmet is the safest choice.
Negligence in Fatal Car Crashes
In some of these cases a driver’s negligence is to blame. If you believe that is the case and a family member was in a fatal accident you should call a Houston car accident attorney. Don’t talk to the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident. Our attorneys will evaluate you case for free contact Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. 713-221-6800.