National Safety Council: Roadway Deaths Exceeded 40,000 Again in 2017
The National Safety Council (NSC) recently released its auto accident injury and fatality statistics for 2017. According to the NSC, 40,100 people died in auto accidents in the United States in 2017, and approximately 4.57 million suffered injuries requiring medical attention. While these numbers both reflect a one-percent decrease from 2016, the NSC notes that “[t]he small decline is not necessarily an indication of progress, as much as a leveling off of the steepest two-year increase in more than 50 years.”
In addition, while the national figures showed modest decreases, fatal accidents increased by four percent in Colorado from 2016 to 2017. Over the past two years (2015—2017), fatal accidents in Colorado jumped by 16 percent, increasing from 545 to 630. This is the seventh-highest increase in the nation; and, while fatal accident figures in Colorado have increased, in about one-third of the states they have declined.
What are the Most-Common Causes of Serious and Fatal Auto Accidents?
According to the NSC and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as the number of serious and fatal auto accidents has spiked over the past few years, the number of distracted driving-related accidents has increased significantly as well. In fact, data from the NHTSA indicate that approximately one in 10 serious and fatal accidents are now the result of distracted driving. Sadly, distracted driving accidents are 100% preventable, as are accidents caused by other common driver mistakes such as:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Driving while fatigued and falling asleep behind the wheel;
- Merging, changing lanes, turning and entering intersections without checking for traffic or observing the rules of the road; and,
- Speeding (including driving too fast for road conditions), following too closely and engaging in other forms of aggressive driving.
What Can Colorado Residents Do to Reverse the Trend of Serious and Fatal Auto Accidents?
The increasing number of traffic-related fatalities in Colorado is an issue that needs to be addressed. To help protect yourself, your loved ones, and other drivers and passengers on the road, the NSC recommends:
- Always drive defensively. Watch for the warning signs of distracted, drunk and fatigued driving, and never engage with aggressive drivers.
- Always make sure you have a designated driver or arrange for alternate transportation. Do not drive when you are tired, and make a conscious effort to avoid driving distractions.
- If you have teen drivers at home, keep tabs on their driving performance. Set a good example when you drive with them in the car, and try to help them understand the risks of aggressive and distracted driving.
- Learn about your car’s safety systems. Always buckle up, and take your car in for service if any warning lights are on.
- If you receive notice of a recall, get your vehicle repaired as soon as possible.
Contact the Denver Auto Accident Lawyers at Levine Law
At Levine Law, we bring decades of experience in fighting for auto accident victims and their families. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients; and, if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries or the loss of a loved one, we can help you win the compensation you deserve. To speak with one of our auto accident lawyers in confidence, please call our Denver law offices at 303-333-8000 or request a free consultation online today.