According to a recent report by the National Safety Council (NSC), there have been many fatal car accidents in the United States for two consecutive years. More than 40,000 individuals lost their lives in fatal crashes in 2017 alone. Although this number is down slightly from 2016, it is still about six percent higher than it was two years ago in 2015. The stubbornly high rate of traffic fatalities reinforces the belief of lawmakers that the elevated number of fatal crashes we are experiencing constitutes a full-fledged public health crisis, and that something must be done to improve the situation.
More Distracted Drivers on the Road
Although huge strides have been made in auto safety technology in recent years, other factors have emerged to offset much of the benefits these technologies provide. For instance, although many new cars are outfitted with precision air bags and high-tech collision avoidance systems, a disturbingly large number of drivers are actively using their smart phones while driving. In addition to distracted driving, our busy modern lifestyles often mean more people speeding and failing to wear their seat belts. By putting down our phones, wearing our seat belts, and driving cautiously, we could save the lives of many innocent passengers on the road.
The figure in the National Safety Council (NSC) report is just an estimate, and does not represent the official federal total, which is expected to be released later this year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NSC’s calculation also includes fatalities that the NHTSA does not count for purposes of its reporting. The NHTSA only counts fatal accidents that happen on public roadways, but the NSC’s data includes fatalities that occur in parking lots, private drives, and driveways.
For 2016, the NHTSA reported that 37,461 people were fatally injured in auto accidents that year, which represented an increase of 5.6 percent from the year before. A spokesperson for the NHTSA has stated that there has been no real progress in auto safety over the past two years.
Both lawmakers and automakers are on the same page regarding autonomous vehicles. The technology is outpacing the ability of our laws to address issues of autonomous vehicle regulation. Although many do not expect to see significant safety benefits flowing from autonomous vehicles for years to come, advocates are settling for smaller fixes for the time being. For example, safety advocates are pushing for collision warning systems, and enhanced education and public awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.
New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP Advocate for Victims of Distracted Driving
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by another person’s negligence, the experienced New Jersey car accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP can help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled to aid you with your recovery. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call us today at 732-777-0100 or contact us online.