Federal Authorities Convene to Examine Ways of Curbing Deadly Wrecks
Auto accident deaths in the U.S. have gone up about 9.3 percent over the first nine months of 2015 (when compared to the same period in 2014).1 And while this increase may be related to the fact that more drivers are on the road (as a result of falling fuel prices and dropping unemployment rates), this surge has sparked the concern of federal authorities at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In fact, NHTSA officials are not waiting for the preliminary data from 2015 to be finalized before taking action. They are reportedly poised to start conducting a number of regional summits across the U.S. to discuss and examine:
- The most common causes of fatal crashes in the U.S.
- The best ways of combatting these causes and crashes, particularly when they involve preventable driver negligence (like drunk driving, distracted driving and reckless driving) – Addressing these human factors is a big concern, as NHTSA research has revealed that about 94 percent of crashes in the U.S. are caused by some type of human mistake or error.1
The first of these summits reportedly occurred in Sacramento, Calif. in early February. While a handful of other summits are planned over the coming weeks, the final summit will reportedly take place in Washington, D.C., where regulators hope lawmakers will be actively involved in their safety discussions.
A Glance at Traffic-Related Fatalities in Colorado
Tragically, the national trend involving a spike in fatal auto crashes in 2015 was mirrored in Colorado, where authorities at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) found that traffic-related fatalities rose about 10 percent in 2015.2
Specifically, in 2015 in Colorado, 545 traffic fatalities occurred (while there were 488 traffic-related fatalities in 2014).
This came close to beating the all-time high for traffic fatalities in Colorado, which occurred in 2008 when 548 traffic deaths were recorded.
If the rising traffic death trend continues, CDOT statisticians predict that, in 2016, the average Colorado motorist will have an approximately 1 in 7,000 chance of being killed in an auto accident.
Leading Causes of Deadly Crashes in the U.S. & Colorado
Both in the U.S. and in Colorado, some of the leading causes of deadly crashes include (but are not exclusive to):
- Speeding or aggressive driving
- Impaired driving
- Distracted driving.
Two other factors that also largely contributed to traffic deaths include:
- Failures to wear seatbelts, which can cut the risk of life-threatening injuries from an auto wreck by nearly 50 percent
- Failures to wear helmets when riding motorcycles, which can reduce the risk of death by more than 40 percent.
Contact Lakewood Auto Accident Lawyer James L. Finegan
If you have been hurt in an auto accident – or if you have lost a loved one to a deadly traffic crash, contact Lakewood Auto Accident Lawyer James L. Finegan for experienced help with your recovery.
While Attorney James Finegan knows that the profound losses caused by traffic crashes, especially deadly wrecks, can never be erased by money, he also is aware that pursuing justice via a car accident case can be integral to victims’ overall recovery – and to their future.
1: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
2: CDOT’s findings on fatal crashes in 2015