US Crash Fatalities Since 2000 Exceed American Military Deaths from Both World Wars
It's becoming common knowledge that crash-related deaths across the United States are stubbornly high. In recent years, the estimated number of traffic fatalities has hovered around 40,000, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).
A recent article in the Washington Post looks at traffic fatalities in the U.S. from a different — and sobering — perspective. According to national data, the number of traffic fatalities in the U.S. has exceeded 624,000 since the year 2000. That's more people dead on U.S. roads than the 535,000 American military personnel who died in both world wars. In addition, more than 30 million people were injured in crashes during that same time period.
This tells us that someone needs to change. The majority of these crashes are preventable. Understanding why they happen in the first place is the first step.
Human error is the driving force behind fatal crashes
In today's driving culture, drivers are becoming increasingly comfortable taking unnecessary risks. The most common and emerging risk is driving while distracted. The advent of handheld devices and built-in infotainment systems has made this increasingly more prevalent in recent years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that roughly 481,000 drivers are distracted by handheld devices during daylight hours.
In addition, as more people juggle busy lives, more drivers feel the need to multitask behind the wheel. This often includes eating, drinking, grooming, making phone calls, and texting — all of which cause visual, manual, and cognitive distraction.
Many drivers who engage in distraction don't consider the likelihood of their actions causing a crash. At least not until it's too late. According to national figures, distracted driving resulted in nearly 78,000 fatalities from 2000-2017.
Drunk driving is another leading factor in fatal crashes, and has caused nearly 213,000 deaths from 2000-2017. That's despite a decline in drunk driving fatalities since the 1990s and doesn't account for the number of fatal crashes caused by "buzzed drivers" with BAC levels below 0.08.
Speeding has killed more than 197,000 people from 2000-2017, and according to the NHTSA, approximately 9,717 of those deaths occurred in 2017 alone. Drivers who travel too fast often have less time to stop or take evasive actions to avoid a crash. Moreover, speeding increases the likelihood of a crash being severe or deadly.
Taking a stand against negligent drivers
Not all drivers engage in irresponsible behavior behind the wheel. Unfortunately, responsible drivers are the ones who often pay the price for the reckless actions of others. That's why the car accident attorneys at Twenge + Twombley Law Firm are dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured motorists and holding responsible parties accountable.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a crash, contact our law office, based in Beaufort, SC, and schedule your free case evaluation.