The National High Transportation Safety Administration recorded 37,133 deaths caused by car accidents in 2017. With the release of this information, the administration highlighted that this number represented a 2 percent decrease in deaths after two years of significant fatality increases. While any decrease in fatal accidents is good news, a recent report from the Washington Post has made it clear that traffic fatalities are still an epidemic in the United States.
The Big 3: Drinking, Speeding, & Distraction
In the report, the Washington Post found that more Americans have died in car crashes since January 2000 than in both World Wars. It noted that World War I and World War II combine for a total of about 535,000 American casualties. The destruction of traffic accidents in American lives doesn’t stop with fatalities; over 30 million people sustained injuries because of car accidents since 2000.
“Where’s the social outrage? There should be social outrage,” said Robert L. Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board in a comment about the nation’s traffic safety.
Data shows that most traffic deaths come from three sources: speeding, distracted drivers, and drunk drivers. From 2000 until 2017, the most recent data available, driving under the influence played a significant role in nearly 213,000 deaths. Additionally, more than 197,000 people died because of speeding between 2000 and 2017. A recent IIHS study found that speed limit increases over the last 25 years are tied to nearly 37,000 fatalities.
The Washington Post points out NTHSA numbers for distracted driving—a cause of about 78,000 traffic deaths. The administration estimates that about 481,000 people use their cellphones while driving during daylight hours. However, independent research from safety startup Zendrive suggests that the nation’s distracted driving habit is much more severe. The company estimates that 69-million people use their phone while driving each day in the United States. Despite their statistical differences, both studies show that Americans are paying a steep price because some drivers do not set down their phone when they should.
Drowsy Driving Is Another Extraordinarily Deadly Factor on American Roads
Falling asleep behind the wheel was added as a category to fatal traffic accident statistics in 2005. Since then, drowsy driving has received blame for over 10,000 deaths. One 2014 study from the AAA Foundation found that 21 percent of crashes involved a drowsy driver. The organization found that drivers with less than four hours of sleep are 11.5 times more likely to cause an accident.
Arnold & Itkin Is Ready to Help Accident Survivors
Arnold & Itkin will advocate for traffic safety and fight for the compensation of accident survivors as long as there are negligent drivers on American roads. The numbers listed above are frustrating because of one fact: they are entirely preventable. No one should be allowed to make decisions which cause others to suffer, and our team fights to hold them accountable for their actions. We’ve won billions of dollars for clients over the years because they need our help and because it is the right thing to do. Our team of car accident attorneys is proud to help clients obtain relief from medical debt, lost wages, and other difficulties caused by negligent drivers.
Call us today for a free consultation at (888) 493-1629. We can’t change that your accident happened, but we can fight to change how it affects your future.