Nield Law Group, APC
760-232-4021 (local)
800-827-1458 (toll free)

Fatal traffic accident rates are up for the first time since 2005

Over the past couple of decades, a lot of safety improvements have been put into place that we all believed would cut down on serious and deadly traffic accidents. Better safety features and improved crash technology in vehicles, along with better road design seemed to be having a profound effect -- starting in 1999, the nationwide rate of fatal accidents began to drop, reaching an historic low in 2011.

Unfortunately, last year the fatal accident rates rose for the first time since 2005, both in California and nationwide. Preliminary numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that U.S. traffic deaths were up by 7.1 percent in the first nine months of 2012. The nonprofit National Safety Council's full-year estimates showed the fatal accident rate up by only 5 percent nationwide and 7 percent in California, but any of these estimates would be bad news. An estimated 36,200 people were killed in U.S. traffic accidents last year.

What explains this sudden reversal? The NSC's three main suspects are 1) a substantial increase in total miles driven, 2) the continual proliferation of texting and cell phone use while driving, and 3) a failure of law enforcement to crack down on speeding.

The largest portion of the increase can be explained by that increase in the number of miles Americans spent driving, said the NSC's president. 2012's mild winter, combined with some improvement in the overall economy, are the likely reasons more drivers were on the road. The higher the number of miles driven, the greater the likelihood of crashes.

NHTSA estimates that around 18 percent of all traffic accidents with injuries are caused by distracted driving. According to the NSC, approximately a third of fatal accidents involved speeding. Both need to be addressed, but the NSC's president is concerned about the dwindling resources available for speed enforcement. When funds become available, many state and local governments tend to prioritize violent crime policing instead of traffic enforcement, he says.

The NSC also estimated the total amount of money lost to motor vehicle accidents with property damage, injuries or deaths in 2012. The result was a staggering $276.6 billion.

Fatal accidents cost far more than money, of course. To those who lose loved ones in motor vehicle accidents, safety initiatives and government statistics don't mean very much. Each individual lost to a fatal wreck is an irretrievable loss to the survivors.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Crash-related deaths up for the first time since 2005, report says," David Undercoffler, Feb. 20, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact The Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For a Response

Main Office - San Diego
Westlake Professional Center
679 Encinitas Blvd.
Suite 201
Encinitas, CA 92024

Phone: 760-232-4021
Fax: 760-942-9882
Encinitas Law Office Map

Los Angeles Office
6033 W.Century Blvd
Suite 605
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Phone: 760-232-4021
Fax: 760-942-9882
Map & Directions

Central Valley Office
3741 Shaw Avenue
Suite 2005
Fresno, CA 93711

Map & Directions

Colorado Office
400 North Park Ave
Suite 10-B
Breckenridge, CO 80424

Map & Directions

San Francisco Office
1450 Sutter Street
Suite 103
San Francisco, CA 94109

Map & Directions

Desert/Inland Empire Office
60222 Angora Ct.
La Quinta, CA 92253

Map & Directions

800-827-1458 (Toll Free)
760-232-4021 (Phone)
760-942-9882 (Fax)