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Uptick in traffic accidents due to negligence, not traffic volume

Population growth may not be cutting-edge news, nor is the accompanying increase in traffic on America’s roads and highways. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of drivers increased by about 3.5 percent across the nation in 2015.

Yet greater traffic volume should not necessarily implicate an increase in traffic accidents. Indeed, one NHTSA administrator observes that around 94 percent of crashes are the result of human error or choice. In addition, other countries have been able to improve street safety in the face of increased traffic and pedestrian volume. The U.S. Transportation Secretary also agrees that safety is an achievable goal.

Technological improvements may help improve road safety. DOT officials have worked with automakers to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature in 99 percent of new vehicles by 2022. Another technology involving vehicle-to-vehicle communications might further reduce thousands of crashes every year. Yet another future technology might even be able to prevent drunk driving, which plays a role in around one-third of fatal motor vehicle crashes each year.

Until technology is able to completely remove human error from the driving equation, the sad truth is that crashes will continue to happen. Car accident victims, especially those with serious injuries, need a strong advocate to protect their rights. That advocacy can start at the crash scene, to the extent that a victim is able to contact an attorney on his or her cellphone. An attorney can work to gather evidence that establishes the other driver’s negligence as the cause.

Source: NHTSA, “NHTSA data shows traffic deaths up 7.7 percent in 2015,” July 1, 2016

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