We all know that traffic fatalities occur at a high rate across the US but a Washington Post article reveals that the problem may be worse than we think. According to federal crash data from 2000-2017, more than 624,000 have died in fatal crashes across the US. In comparison, an estimated 535,000 American military personnel have died in both world wars. You do the math.
We don't know for sure if these figures are 100 percent accurate but what we do know is more needs to be done to save lives. Furthermore, the majority of crashes on US roads are preventable.
What's causing the high number of fatalities?
It all comes down to one thing: human error. With the advent of smartphones and other handheld technology, we're seeing an increase in fatalities caused by distracted driving. Distraction isn't always caused by handheld devices. It could include multitasking, eating, drinking, and looking anywhere but at the road ahead.
Crash data shows that from 2000-2017, nearly 78,000 people were killed due to distracted driving. What's even scarier, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that roughly 481,000 drivers are distracted by handheld devices during daylight hours. That only includes confirmed, reportable incidents. The actual number is likely much higher.
Other leading causes of crash fatalities include:
- Drunk driving: alcohol impairment is another leading cause of crash fatalities and was the cause of nearly 213,000 deaths from 2000-2017. That number only includes drivers who had a BAC level of 0.08, which is the legal limit. Drivers can be impaired even at a BAC level as low as 0.02, which is legal.
- Speeding: More than 197,000 fatalities from 2000-2017 were caused by speeding. The NHTSA reports that in 2017 alone, approximately 9,717 fatalities were caused by speeding.
- Drowsy driving: Since 2005, there have been more than 10,000 crash fatalities related to confirmed incidents of drowsy driving. The real number of fatalities, however, could be much higher since evidence is often limited.
New Mexico attorney you can count on if injured in a crash
What these figures tell us is that our driving culture needs to change. Too many drivers become comfortable taking risks and rarely ever consider the possibility that a serious crash will happen to them. If you or a loved one was hurt in a crash because of another driver's reckless or careless actions, you need an experienced New Mexico car accident attorney on your side, advocating on your behalf.
Don't hesitate. Contact Szantho Law Firm today to learn more.