Driverless vehicles will hopefully become a reality sooner than later and when they do it won’t be a minute too soon. The National Safety Council (NSC) released its annual report for 2016 recently, and it wasn’t pretty. It turns out in 2016 there were more than 40,000 traffic fatalities in the United States, a 6% increase over 2015. Our law firm, Dankner Milstein, presents this blog as a safety reminder that injuries caused by reckless driving affect everyone, regardless of age, race, or economic status. The NSC study shows that in the first half of life more Americans die from auto accident related injuries than from any other cause of death including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, HIV, or the flu.
Nearly 1 person is killed in a motor vehicle approximately every 15 minutes in the U.S. And these deaths, tragic as they may be, are only the tip of this iceberg-sized epidemic. Tens-of-thousands more are injured and survive, and many are faced with life-long mental, physical and financial problems. (Nearly 4.6 million people required medical treatment after crashes in 2016, an increase of 7 percent over 2015).
“The sheer magnitude of the devastation caused on our nation’s streets and highways effect the lives of millions of people each year,” Jay W. Dankner, managing partner of the top New York car accident injury law firm of Dankner Milstein said. “Just think about it. For every injury or death caused by an auto accident, not only are those who suffer or die the victims of these crashes but add to that carnage the often catastrophic emotional and financial consequences that can befall the lives of the victims’ families.”
According to another recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle traffic fatalities rose about 8.0 percent in the first nine months of 2016 compared with the prior year. While study after study underscores the many causes that account for such a precipitous year-over-year increase in vehicular accidents, one cause presumed to be one of the culprits associated with this sharp rise in auto accidents as it turns out isn’t connected to any consequential increase in the number of miles driven by Americans in that time period. According to the NHTSA, miles traveled by drivers in aggregate only rose about 3.0 percent in the first nine-months of 2016.
Top New York Auto Accident Injury Lawyers are using the word EPIDEMIC to describe the impact of motor vehicle-related injuries and death in the US, in particular over the past 10 years, would not be hyperbolic, or an overstatement.
- Work-Related: In 2014 crashes involving vehicles on public roadways were the leading cause of work-related fatalities, accounting for 23 percent of all workplace fatalities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- By Age Group: According to NHTSA, in 2014 (according to the latest data available) people 65 and older made up 17 percent of all traffic fatalities. In 2014 there were 38.4 million older licensed drivers, up 31 percent from 2005. The total number of drivers rose 7 percent from 2005 to 2014.
- In 2014 drivers age 15 to 20 accounted for 9 percent of all the drivers involved in fatal crashes and 12 percent of all the drivers involved in all police-reported crashes. In 2014 drivers in this age group accounted for 6 percent of all licensed drivers, according to the NHTSA.
- The cost of Motor Vehicle Crashes: According to the NHTSA, the economic cost of motor vehicle crashes (police-reported and unreported) totaled $277 billion in 2010, amounting to almost $897 for every person living in the United States and for 1.9 percent of the U.S Gross Domestic Product.
- These costs include medical, lost productivity, legal, emergency service, insurance administration, property damage, workplace and other.
- The quality of life valuations from motor vehicle crashes added another $594 billion to the cost, bringing the total to $871 billion. Property damage costs of $76.2 billion accounted for 28 percent of total economic costs. Lost productivity costs were $70.2 billion, or 25 percent of the economic cost
- Medical costs, both present, and future accounted for $34.9 billion, or 13 percent, of the economic cost.
Additional factors that lead to motor vehicle accident include:
- Following improperly.
- Improper or erratic lane changes.
- Illegal driving on road shoulder, in the ditch, or on sidewalk or median.
- Passing where prohibited.
- Operating the vehicle in an erratic, reckless, careless, or negligent manner or suddenly changing speeds.
- Failure to yield right of way.
- Failure to obey traffic signs, traffic control devices, or traffic officers, failure to observe safety zone traffic laws.
- Failure to observe warnings or instructions on a vehicle displaying them.
- Failure to signal.
- Driving too fast for conditions or in excess of posted speed limit.
- Making an improper turn.
For more information, contact the top New York auto accident injury law firm of Dankner Milstein, P.C. by calling 212-751-8000. Or you can E-mail one of the firm’s lawyers for a free consultation.