Despite a renewed focus on traffic safety and advances in technology, the United States experienced its third year of over 40,000 annual traffic deaths in 2018. The trend affects drivers throughout Texas and across the country.
According to research compiled by the National Safety Council, 2018 marked the third year where traffic fatalities topped 40,000. While the number of fatalities in 2018 is down slightly from the year before, it still reflects a 14 percent increase from the number of deaths in 2014. Even with the slight decrease over the previous three years, the alarming trend over the prior decade is concerning. Crashes involving injury followed a similar trend, with the 4.5 million people seriously injured in car wrecks representing a one percent increase from the previous year.
What are the causes of these increases? Distractions, for starters. The number of infotainment systems that now come standard with most vehicles is far higher than in the previous decade. Technology isn’t all bad, however, as the number of accidents was likely reduced by innovations including automatic emergency braking systems.
These statistics were not uniform from one state to another. Five states, including Maine, New Jersey, Wyoming, Kansas and Rhode Island, saw the number of fatal accidents decline by nearly 10 percent. On the flip side, eight states, including Florida, Nevada and Hawaii, saw fatalities increase by close to six percent.
People injured in an accident caused by another driver may have a claim for their monetary damages. These damages can include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage costs. An attorney with experience in personal injury law may be able to help people recover those damages from the responsible party by negotiating with their insurance company or filing a lawsuit.