NHTSA Documents Highest Number of Traffic Fatalities in 20 Years
September 7, 2022
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) just released its early estimates of traffic fatalities for the first quarter of 2022 and the numbers show a dangerous and concerning trend. According to the agency, there was a 7% increase in traffic-related deaths this year as compared to the first quarter of 2021. In its recent press release, the NHTSA said that the number represents the highest number of first-quarter fatalities since 2002.
This is by no means the first time the NHTSA has demonstrated a problematic increase in road injuries and deaths. For example, 42,915 Americans died in motor vehicle crashes last year, up from 38,824 fatalities in 2020. In fact, the United States has one of the highest numbers of roadway accidents across the globe, rendering motor vehicle crashes a leading cause of death in the country.
Car Accidents: Statistics and Risk Factors
There are a variety of risk factors for car accidents, which claim the lives of tens of thousands of people and injure millions more each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that the U.S. significantly outnumbers other high-income countries when it comes to low rates of front seat belt use, drunk driving-related collisions, and crashes that involve speeding. Here are some other noteworthy facts on car accidents from the CDC:
- About 90 people in the U.S. die from crashes every day
- Approximately half of the drivers and passengers who die in motor vehicle accidents are not wearing their seat belts
- Altogether, not using seat belts, booster seats, and car seats contribute to over 9,000 deaths each year
- More than 10,000 people lose their lives in crashes involving drug or alcohol-impaired drivers
- Speeding is a contributing factor in roughly 9,500 crash deaths per year
According to the NHTSA, some of the riskiest driving behaviors include speeding, drowsy driving, distracted driving, not wearing a seat belt, and drug and alcohol-impaired driving.
Making Roads Safer
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT), the Biden-Harris administration and the NHTSA are all focused on reducing traffic fatalities. The Biden-Harris administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (or the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) has funneled considerable amounts of money towards improving highway safety. Earlier this year, the DOT announced the creation of the National Roadway Safety Strategy, which centers on keeping people, roads and vehicles safer. The NHTSA has also launched several effective awareness campaigns, the most recent being “Speeding Wrecks Lives”, which serves to change people’s attitudes about speeding and reminds them of the deadly consequences.
Although safety campaigns, strategies and laws are useful tools when it comes to promoting safer roads, it is critical that drivers, too, pledge to drive safely and behave responsibly behind the wheel. Drivers should:
- Always wear a seat belt and ensure that passengers do as well
- Keep two hands on the wheel at all times
- Avoid handling electronic devices, eating, or drinking
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
- Obey posted speed limits and signage
- Share the road with other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians
What to Do if You Were Injured in a Car Accident
At Galfand Berger LLP, we win 98% of our cases and settle 95%. When someone gets injured in a car accident, their whole life can change in the blink of an eye. Our attorneys can help make sure that the victim and their family are not impacted financially after an accident and can also help them recoup losses like medical bills, continuing medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages. Here are just a few examples of our firm’s automobile accident case results:
- Our client was left paralyzed after sustaining significant injuries in a traumatic car accident. Our attorneys pursued a case against the at-fault driver in addition to the automobile manufacturer for defective seat belts and the overall crash-worthiness of the vehicle. We recovered $4,500,000.00 on behalf of our client.
- Our client was struck by a tractor-trailer on an inter-state highway, sustaining severe injuries that resulted in the amputation of both his legs beneath the knee. Our investigation uncovered that the brakes on the tractor-trailer were worn out and that the tires were bald. Our attorneys also found evidence that the truck driver was logging an excessive number of hours behind the wheel. Our attorneys successfully recovered $3,000,000.00 for our client.
If you were in an automobile accident and you have questions about filing a legal claim to recover damages, someone at our firm can help. Contact a representative online now.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP, Representing Injured Automobile Accident Victims Since 1947
If you have a question about filing a legal claim, contact the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.