Traffic Injuries and Fatalities Up Dramatically
National campaigns that were launched nearly a decade ago had been mostly successful in alerting drivers to the dangers of distracted driving. For a period of time, the increased awareness seemed to be working and the number of traffic deaths in the United States had begun to go down.
Recently, however, the National Safety Council has indicated that in the first six months, 18 thousand people have been killed and another 2 million people injured in accidents on U.S. roadways this year. This is an increase over previous years of nearly nine percent.
According to a recent article that appeared on the Miami CBS Local website, just this past March, 13 people died in a crash involving a pickup truck and a mini-bus filled with members of a Texas church who were returning home after a retreat.
Eyewitnesses to the incident say that the driver of the pickup had been texting while driving and swerving just before the crash. The driver himself admitted to texting just prior to the fatal crash that claimed over a dozen innocent lives.
Every day we lose 100 people on our roadways. This is the equivalent of losing 2 regional jets every day,” said Debbie Hersman, President and CEO of the National Safety Council said in an interview.
Hersman suggests one reason for the uptick in traffic deaths is that because of low prices at the pump more people are driving than ever. Another reason is that behavior behind the wheel seems to have backslid into bad habits behind the wheel such as texting and driving.
Complacency behind the wheel may be the biggest culprit. “Our vehicles are safer than ever. We have advanced technology. We can survive crashes because of better design and engineering but what we’re seeing that we really haven’t become safer drivers,” Hersman said.
Data presented by the Council indicates that distracted driving, driving while intoxicated and speeding are the top three causes of fatal traffic accidents. Paying closer attention to the road and not to cellphones, music players and other distractions could help lower the number of fatalities on the road.
In a study that was conducted by recent Virginia Tech, researchers found that a person who texts behind the wheel is 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision than drivers who don’t. The study further revealed that drivers who are distracted have their eyes off of the road for an average of five seconds at a time. When traveling at the speed of 55 miles an hour, taking eyes off the road for a mere 5 seconds, a vehicle has traveled a distance that is equivalent to the length of a football field.
If you live in the Miami-Dade area and if you or a loved one has been injured or has killed in an accident involving distracted driving, give our offices a call. Our attorneys will meet with you and discuss the specifics of your case. They will then carefully outline and explain all options that are available to you. We are dedicated in helping you receive justice and the maximum amount of compensation possible for any hospital bills, lost wages, damages or pain and suffering.
Call today for a free consultation and legal analysis and find out how we can help.