With 2016 now in the past, car safety experts have been able to compile all the data on car accidents for the entire year. As they had predicted from the results of the first six months of the 2016, last year saw a scary increase in the number of fatal car crashes. Coupled with another significant increase in road fatalities in 2015, many safety experts are getting worried.
Road Fatalities Increase in 2016
We covered the preliminary report of the National Safety Council (NSC), which had noted that the first six months of 2016 showed a spike in car accident fatalities across the nation.
With 2016 in the books, the NSC finished its report, publishing it on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. What they found confirmed what they’d found in the preliminary report: Fatal car accidents rose significantly again in 2016.
The NSC’s final numbers found that there were an estimated 40,200 motor vehicle deaths in 2016. While the report still needs to be confirmed, this would be the first time since 2007 that more than 40,000 people died on the roads in a single year.
Worse, the trend towards more fatalities on the road is proving not to be an anomaly. 2016’s numbers were a 6.47% increase over 2015’s. However, 2015 showed a nearly 7% increase over the totals from 2014. Together, this two-year increase of nearly 14% is the largest spike in more than fifty years.
Fatal Accidents in Missouri Show Greater Spike
The NSC broke down where these fatal accidents occurred. Some states have actually decreased the number of fatal accidents within their borders. Nearby Nebraska has improved by 11% in the past year.
Missouri, however, has gotten significantly worse in the past two years for fatal crashes. Between 2014 and 2016, road fatalities have increased by 24%. In the past year, fatal accidents in Kansas have happened 21% more often, as well.
Numerous Causes to Blame
Safety experts at the NSC and elsewhere point to numerous reasons for the increase. Low gas prices and a good economy mean more people drive. With more people on the road, more people get into serious car accidents.
However, this explanation only goes so far: The number of deaths per mile driven is increasing, as well. This means that people are not only driving more, they’re also not driving as safely.
Road safety advocates think this is a mixture of many things. Among them are an increase in distracted driving, speeding, and drunk driving. Especially when coupled with a low seat belt usage, these can all cause fatal accidents.
St. Joseph Car Accident Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
Road safety is something that everyone needs to take seriously. Ignoring trends like these will only make them get worse, and this will lead to more serious and fatal injuries.
The personal injury attorneys at the Smith Law Office in St. Joseph represent people who have been impacted by a car accident. Contact us online or at (816) 875-9373 to get the legal representation you need to get the compensation you deserve.