You might want to be a little safer out there behind the wheel as we’ve got news that traffic accident fatalities are on the rise.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2012, there were close to 35,000 people killed in traffic accidents across the nation last year. That’s up close to 5.5 percent from the previous year.Our Highland car accident lawyers understand that this is a number that’s up after years of declines. If these early estimates are correct, then 2012 will be first year with a year-to-year increase in fatalities since 2005. The number of these kinds of fatalities has been on a steady decline over the last six years. From 2005, the number of traffic accident fatalities dropped by more than 26 percent through 2011.
As our economy continues to cover, drivers are spending more time behind the wheel. With a stronger economy, drivers are feeling a little better spending at the pump and taking those vacations they put off in recent years. Preliminary data reported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) shows that vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 2012 increased by about 9.1 billion miles, or about a 0.3-percent increase. On a quarterly basis, the 2012 VMT increased by 1.4 percent and by 0.8 percent in the first and second quarter, respectively, and decreased by 0.2 percent and by 0.7 percent in the third and fourth quarters, respectively. The fatality rate, per 100 million VMT, for 2012 is projected to increase to 1.16 fatalities per 100 million VMT, up from 1.10 fatalities per 100 million VMT in 2011. This rate surpasses the rate of 1.15 last reported in 2009.
Believe it or not, Indiana was in one of the two regions that saw a decrease in the number of traffic accidents fatalities throughout the year. Indiana was a part of Region 10, which also includes Washington, Oregon, and Montana, Our Region saw only a 1 percent decrease during this time, which is nothing to brag about.
In 2012, there were close to 350 traffic accident fatalities in Indiana, according to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. More than 215 of these occurred in our state’s rural areas, while only about 110 occurred in urban areas.
We need to be on our best behavior behind the wheel — at all times. In 2011, dangerous-driving actions were a contributing factor in more than 10 percent of all traffic collisions and close to 25 percent of fatal collisions in our state. Nationally, speeding is a factor in roughly a third of all fatal accidents, while drivers not obeying traffic signals are a factor in close to 10 percent.
Indiana Car Accident Attorney Burton A. Padove handles cases of personal injury throughout northern Indiana, including Gary, Hammond and Calumet City. Call Toll Free 877-446-5294.
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Indiana SUV Buyers Beware – Safety and Reliability are Not Always Priorities, Indiana Injury and Family Lawyer Blog, May 26, 2013