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Motor Vehicle Deaths Dropping Slightly So Far This Year

During the first half of 2017, statistics show that motor vehicle deaths have fallen to an estimated 18,680 fatalities. However, this number is still eight percent higher than the statistics from just two years ago in 2015, according to the National Safety Council. However, while this seems like good news on the surface, the NSC cautions people from getting overly optimistic. We’re still only a bit more than halfway through 2017 and the last few months of the year tend to be the deadliest. This can be attributed to the worsening weather coupled with more people on the roads during the holiday season.

California’s numbers specifically have been dropping. Motor vehicle deaths in this state in the first half of 2017 totaled 1492, down from 1702 in 2016 and 1566 in 2015. This represents a 12% change from last year and a five percent change from 2015. California ranked third in motor vehicle fatalities for the first half of 2017, behind Texas at 1733 and Florida at 1570.

Cautious Optimism

The 2015 national numbers were the worst this country had seen since 1964. Understandably, officials are reluctant to say the upward trend is coming to an end. Statistics taken at the beginning of 2018 will reveal more. The amount of deaths is still staggering, with nearly 18,700 people killed on U.S. roadways since January 2017. An additional 2.1 million were seriously injured. The estimated cost associated with these accidents is $191 billion.

Why Such High Numbers?

The NSC says the high number is due in part to cultural complacency – the mentality that “it can’t happen to me.” This is why so many people still text while driving, get behind the wheel after drinking or while extremely fatigued, and multi-task while trying to keep their eyes on the road. Of course, road conditions, weather and the actions of other drivers are also major contributors – something out of the control of the average driver.

There are many factors that affect motor vehicle fatality trends, including an improving economy and lower gas prices. In fact, these factors have both contributed to a 1.7% increase in miles driven between 2016 and 2017.

Solutions

Last October, the National Safety Council formed the Road to Zero program in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the Federal Highway Administration. Its goal is to eliminate traffic fatalities completely within the next 30 years.

These organizations hope to achieve this seemingly impossible goal through awareness based on the following facts:

  • Traffic fatalities and associated injuries are preventable.
  • Zero traffic deaths can be obtained in the future with access to emerging technology such as self-driving cars.
  • A coordinated effort between multiple connected agencies will do more good and bring about more positive change than individual organizations working independently.

The National Safety Council recommends the following tips to reduce motor vehicle fatalities:

  • Wear your seat belt every single time you get in the car. Insist that all passengers belt in before moving.
  • Designate a driver if you plan to drink, or make plans for public transportation, Uber, etc.
  • Make sure you are well rested behind the wheel. If you are tired, get somewhere safe to take a break.
  • Don’t use your phone while driving. Even hands-free phones pose a distraction.
  • Make sure your teen knows all the rules of the road as well as smart driving habits. Check out Drive it Home for more helpful resources.
  • Know the safety features of your particular vehicle and use them, such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning systems and back-up cameras.
  • Stay on top of recalls and bring your car in for service if need be.

Contact Power Legal Group

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, it’s imperative that you call Power Legal right away at 800-323-POWER for your free initial consultation.

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