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Preliminary Reports Show U.S. Traffic Fatalities Increased in 2016


Posted on Feb 02, 2017

A new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows the number of traffic fatalities saw a large increase in the first nine months of 2016, when compared to the same period of 2015.

What does the report show?

According to the initial reports issued by the NHTSA, 27,875 people died in car accidents nationwide between January and September 2016. This marks an eight percent increase over the same period the previous year. When we look at the southeastern region (Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida) alone, the increase was 15 percent, the second highest in the nation.

This is the second straight year of significant increases. In 2015, the NHTSA reported a 7.2 percent increase in traffic deaths over 2014. For the past decade, traffic fatalities have fallen, sometimes with decreases as dramatic as 9.5 percent. The 35,092 car accident deaths in 2015 are drastically lower than the totals from 2005 (43,510 fatalities), but experts still wonder what is causing such a significant increase after a long period of decreasing numbers.

Why are car accident fatalities on the rise?

When the economy struggles, the number of cars on the road drops. During the recent recession, many people lost their jobs and were no longer commuting to work. Leisure travel declined sharply. With fewer vehicles on the highways and interstates, the drop in car accident fatalities was dramatic.

As the economy bounced back, it is no surprise the number of fatal accidents increased as well. However, the jump in deadly crashes is more than experts expected. There are likely other factors at play.

Distracted driving and the crashes it causes continue to be an issue year after year. Drunk drivers have been and likely always will be a cause of many of these accidents. Drowsy driving, a “new” phenomenon, likely also contributed to quite a few of these accidents.

In some cases, the design of the road is also to blame. Some roads are inherently dangerous because of factors including their:

  • Design
  • Construction
  • Lack of traffic signals or road signs
  • Speed limit
  • Amount of traffic/how often traffic jams occur

Georgia has its share of dangerous roads, In fact, the NHTSA named Atlanta’s own I-285 as the nation’s deadliest interstate in 2015. The five counties in the Atlanta metro area are also taking action to cut down on fatal accidents at some of the city’s deadliest intersections.

How can The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC help after a car crash?

If you suffered car accident injuries in the Atlanta area, The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. may be able to help you recover compensation for your losses. We can evaluate your case during a free, no-obligation consultation.

Call 404-474-0804 today to schedule a time to meet our car accident attorney in our Peachtree City office. 

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