The National Safety Council (NSC) recently released new statistics showing the United States experienced a decrease in the number of car accident fatalities for the fourth-consecutive year in a row. The NSC found that there were approximately 34,700 motor vehicle fatalities in 2010 — a 3 percent decrease from 2009 and the lowest total since 1949.
Our West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers know the news may not be all it’s cracked up to be as the car accident fatality numbers showed an increase in the fourth quarter of last year.
Officials have observed and studied past fatality trends and found that the recession may be one of the main factors contributing to the decrease in car accident fatalities in West Palm Beach and elsewhere in the U.S.
The 3 percent decrease was recorded even when the nation’s drivers drove almost 21 billion miles more than the previous year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the car accident fatality rate has declined roughly 25 percent since the peak of 2005 with more than 43,500 deaths.
In addition to the recession influencing the decreased number of fatal car accidents, some officials would like to give credit to new car safety features and better driver awareness. The NSC also credits the greater visibility of law enforcement and safety laws for the reduction in fatality numbers. They believe seat belt use, distracted driving, teen and impaired driving have all influenced the decrease.
“As encouraging as it is to see fatalities decreasing on our nation’s roads, the 2010 rate of decrease is less than a third of the previous year’s decrease,” said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “We must remain vigilant in addressing roadway safety issues where the greatest impact can be made, such as distracted and teen driving. As miles traveled start to rise again from recession lows, we want to ensure the continuance of this downward trend.”
According to the NHTSA, Florida experienced nearly 750 fatalities from car accidents in 2008. Roughly 1,700 vehicles were involved in these Florida accidents. Although these numbers seem high, Floridians have been altogether safer on our roadways. The Sunshine State saw a 14 percent decrease in car accident fatality numbers from 2008 to 2010. Our drivers should still remain on alert as our roads are often filled with tourists, snowbirds and other drivers unfamiliar with our roadways.
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach or the surrounding areas, contact the personal injury lawyers at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez. Call for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights at 1-800-529-2368.