2015 Sees an Increase in Fatal Car Accidents on America’s Roads

Data shows that the number of fatal car accidents has risen in 2015.

According to data recently released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council (NSC), the rate of fatal traffic accidents sharply increased for the first half of 2015 compared with the same time last year. The NHTSA reports that fatalities are up 8.1 percent over the first six months of 2015 and that the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled increased 4.4 percent. Furthermore, the NSC reports that nearly 19,000 people died in traffic accidents through the end of June and that the year-end number of fatalities is expected to climb above 40,000 for the first time since 2007.

This troubling trend follows several years of steady declines in the fatal accident rate and in the number of fatalities. Experts point to a number of human factors as being responsible for the great percentage of traffic accidents. These include:

  • Distracted driving, which accounts for 10 percent of all fatal crashes and resulted in nearly 3,200 deaths in 2014;
  • Drunk driving, which accounted for nearly 10,000 deaths in 2014 or one-third of all traffic fatalities;
  • Driving while fatigued (also known as "drowsy driving"), which killed 846 people last year (2.6 percent of fatal accidents);
  • Not wearing seat belts, which accounted for half of all fatalities;
  • Not wearing motorcycle helmets, which killed nearly 1,600 people in 2014 (numbers of motorcyclist deaths are much higher in states that don't have laws on the books requiring motorcycle riders to wear helmets and other protective gear; Texas only requires helmets for bikers under the age of 21 or those who haven't completed a motorcycle safety course - see Texas Transportation Code Section 661.003 for more information)

Of course, human error isn't to blame for all traffic accidents. Many of the millions of reported traffic accidents that occur each year are caused by vehicle issues like defective braking systems, bad tires, transmission issues, and steering column flaws, all of which have been linked to widespread automobile and truck recalls in recent years. Other accidents result from road conditions like flooded roadways, improperly graded streets, inclines or descents that are too severe for traffic, and inadequate traffic control. Weather can also influence the accident rate.

If your or a loved one has been injured in a vehicular collision, it is entirely possible that your misfortune was due to the fault of another or due to a defective vehicle. You may have the right to bring a legal claim for compensation. To learn more about your rights following an injury-causing or fatal car accident, speak with the experienced attorneys at the San Antonio law office of Tinsman & Sciano, Inc. Call the firm toll-free at call (210) 225-3121 or contact us to schedule a consultation today.