Road Deaths Fall… But Are South Carolina Drivers Safer?

The number of people dying in motor vehicle accidents has dropped throughout the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle accident fatalities have fallen about 25 percent over the past decade and the number of people dying in car crashes in this country is historically low. car accident 2.jpg

While it is good news that fewer people are dying in car crashes, a Spartanburg auto accident attorney knows that there is still lots of work to be done in terms of saving lives. Every car accident fatality leaves devastated family members behind and results in significant financial and non-financial losses. The NHTSA needs to do more to prevent fatalities and drivers need to do more to prevent needless collisions caused by things like distracted driving and drunk driving.

Road Accident Deaths Still Remain a Big Problem

South Carolina was one of 34 states that experienced a reduction in overall traffic fatalities in 2013 as compared with 2012. In the state, there were 96 fewer people killed in 2013 as compared with 2012 according to Lake County News.

Nationwide, there was a 3.1 percent decrease in the number of people killed in collisions in 2013. There was also a 2.1 percent reduction in the number of people who got hurt in crashes. Despite this decline, however, there were still 32,719 people killed. Car crashes remain one of the top causes of death in the United States and are the single leading cause of fatalities among young people.

The decline in fatalities may not be driven by the fact that people are actually safer, but instead is likely caused by the fact that in-vehicle safety technology has advanced so fewer people die when accidents happen. Of course, these victims may experience serious and costly injuries and lingering trauma from the crash even when they survive.

USA Today reports that the statistics touted by the NHTSA that are intended to show “good news” about traffic safety are often misleading. The statistics don’t tell the whole story, which is that the U.S. has actually done a much worse job than most countries at reducing fatalities. Since 1972, for example, the U.S. has experienced a 41 percent reduction in traffic deaths while both the Netherlands and Germany experienced an 81 percent reduction in fatalities. Great Britain had a 76 percent drop in traffic deaths, and a total of 25 other countries did better at improving road safety.

The NHTSA stats on pedal cyclist fatalities and pedestrian fatalities show that when people are outside of cars and don’t benefit from these safety advancements, the death toll is actually going up. In fact, there was a 1.2 percent increase in bike fatalities from 2012 to 2013, which is the highest since 2006. There were also 15 percent more pedestrian deaths in 2013 as compared to 2009.

Improving crash safety technologies is not good enough. The U.S. needs to focus more on actually changing driver behavior so that fewer people die in preventable collisions.

Contact the South Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:
Woman Killed in South Carolina Pedestrian Accident, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, February 21, 2013

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