TRAFFIC FATALITIES SPIKED TO OVER 40,000
In the recent past, we have seen more and more safety devices added to new cars in order to make them safer. Rearview camera, electronic stability control, more airbags, lane assistance, and blind spot monitoring are just a few of those technological advances designed to protect drivers. However, despite all of these advances, the number of traffic fatalities rose sharply for the second straight year.
The National Safety Council’s annual report on traffic deaths estimates that approximately 40,200 people were killed as a result of motor vehicle crashes in 2016. That is a six percent increase from 2015 estimates, which makes a for a fourteen percent increase over the last two years. That fourteen percent increase is the largest in the last 50 years.
THE CAUSES OF THE RECENT IN TRAFFIC FATALITIES SPIKE VARY
The report states that the Nation Safety Council estimates that nearly half of all motor vehicle wrecks are related to passengers not buckling their seatbelts. They also estimated that and around one-third of all the traffic related deaths have some link to impairment by drugs or alcohol. Traffic fatalities have not eclipsed 40,000 since 2007 and it is a worrying trend to see this number increasing despite all the advances in safety.
Researchers interested in the causes of the recent spike believe that a stronger economy may have simply resulted in more people driving more often and for longer distances, creating more chances for wrecks and traffic deaths to occur.
Other potential causes include an increase in distracted drivers, whether it is millennials trying to navigate the various social media apps on their phone while driving or baby boomers trying to figure out how to turn their speaker phone off while driving. Other potential factors include low enforcement of traffic regulations, lax trucking regulations, and states failing to pass seatbelt laws.
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