Recently the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made the troubling announcement that traffic deaths across the country had risen almost 8 percent since 2014. This means that last year, the families of over 35,000 people across the country received the devastating news that a loved one had died on the road. The third largest increase in fatal traffic accidents came in the mid-Atlantic states, including Virginia.
Highway safety experts cite time-honored methods for preventing traffic fatalities. These includes passing strong safety laws, increasing police presence on roadways and educating the public about highway safety issues. Still, while some safety measures may do some good, other decisions seem to cancel the good work. For example, although enhanced air bag technology saved lives, even more lives were lost when states raised speed limits on some highways.
In analyzing the data, some suggest that the improved economy has put more people on the road, including young people, a population whose fatality rate rose more than 20 percent last year. Lower gas prices may mean Americans are taking longer trips. The fact that employment rates are rising means more people may be driving to and from work, increasing the opportunities for accidents.
Despite all the factors that may contribute to collisions, safety authorities say that human error and poor decisions behind the wheel account for 94 percent of crashes. When another driver’s careless mistake takes the life of a loved one, all the statistics and probabilities in the world will not console a grieving family. People in Virginia who lose family members in fatal accidents may turn to an attorney for help in seeking compensation for their suffering and loss.
Source: sentinelsource.com, “Traffic deaths up sharply in 2015; speed-limit increase, economy cited”, Ashley Halsey III & Michael Laris, July 2, 2016