Distracted Driving Being Blamed for Increase in U.S. Traffic Deaths


Distracted Driving Being Blamed for Increase in U.S. Traffic Deaths

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney. Distracted driving is being blamed for an increase in traffic deaths across the United States, and motorcyclists are no exception.

Fatalities Highest Since 2007

According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic fatalities have hit their highest mark since 2007, with 37,461 people killed on roads of the United States in 2016. The data was released by the NHTSA earlier in October and shows a 5.6 percent increase in deaths compared to 2015. 2016 saw a fatality rate of 1.18 per 100 million miles driven, which is a 2.6 percent increase from 2015. The number of people killed on the roads in 2016 accounted for more than 100 deaths per day. The largest spike in deaths came in the motorcycle and pedestrian categories.

Increase in Driving

There has been an increase in driving across the country that has coincided with a drop in gas prices. This has in part led to an increase in deaths dating from 2014. In 2016, the total number of miles driven saw a 2.2 percent increase.

Soaring Figures

The numbers from 2016 might seem alarming, but they did not increase as much as they did in 2015. In 2015, there was an increase in traffic deaths of 8.4 percent. The increases in 2015 and 2016 are the highest back-to-back increases in traffic deaths over the last 50 years.

Pedestrian Deaths

Pedestrian deaths hit their highest mark since 1990, with 5,987 people killed in pedestrian accidents during 2016. The almost 6,000 people killed marks a nine percent increase over 2015.

Motorcycle Deaths

Motorcycle deaths also hit their highest mark since 2008, with 5,286 people killed on the roads of the United States in motorcycle accidents in 2016. This marks a 5.1 percent increase in motorcycle deaths compared to 2015. When combined, pedestrian and motorcycle deaths were responsible for more than one-third of the increase in traffic deaths from 2015 to 2016.

Bicycle Deaths

There was a tiny increase in bicycle deaths in 2016 compared to 2015 as 840 people were killed- a 1.3 percent increase year-to-year. Despite the small increase, it was the highest number of bicycle deaths recorded since 1991.

Distracted Driving Still a Problem in California

According to a study released by the California Office of Traffic Safety, distracted driving is still a problem throughout the state. The study found drivers in the state are driving while texting or talking at any given time at a rate of nine percent. Drunk driving and speeding are still listed as major causes of traffic deaths in the United States, not respective of the increase in distracted driving incidents.

Difficulty Tracking Cell Phone Use

According to the National Safety Council, there is no strong method in place right now for tracking cell phone use while driving in relation to accidents. This goes as far as the problem that police officers do not have an adequate means of determining cell phone use in accident cases outside of witness testimony or a driver admitting to doing so.

Related Articles by Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Attorney, Ed Smith:

Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney. Suffering an injury in a motorcycle accident can lead to serious life changes involving your emotions, physical abilities, and financial situation. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident because of the negligence of another person, call me today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice with no obligation. You can also contact me via my website, AutoAccident.com.

I welcome you to read reviews of my work written by some of my clients, both past, and present. You can read these reviews on sites like Yelp, Google, and Avvo.

You can find more information about my prior cases by reading through the information found on my verdicts and settlements page.

I belong to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which recognizes trial lawyer across the country who have won $1 million or more awards for their clients.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Distracted Driving is a Dangerous Activity by Thomas R Machnitzki. CC BY 3.0.
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