Despite the fact that cars are built safer each year, the roads appear to be more dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced that car accident fatalities went up 7.7 percent last year compared to the previous year. Even more startling for people in New York is that traffic fatalities rose 9 percent in the mid-Atlantic states.
While the reasons behind this sharp rise in deaths on the road have not been fully examined, some speculate it is partly because there are simply more people driving. This may be due to the fact that the economy has improved, so people have more money to travel. With lower unemployment comes more drivers commuting to and from work. This may also include teenagers, who were killed on the highway nearly twice as often as older people.
Some feel that, in addition to stronger traffic laws, visible police presence and vigorous public awareness programs, the best way to improve safety on the highway is automation. Despite the recent accident which killed the operator of a self-driving vehicle, some still feel that the next phase in automobile safety will be collision-avoidance technology. However, technology may not be the cure. Data suggests that while improved airbag technology in cars managed to save lives, increased speeds in some states resulted in just as many deaths.
No matter what technology is in place to make cars safer, NHTSA reports that 94 percent of motor vehicle crashes are the result of human error. Last year, those errors cost the lives of about 35,200 people across the country. In New York, anyone involved in a car accident has the right to consult an attorney to review his or her case. Those who have been injured or who have lost a loved one through the someone else negligence may be entitled to compensation.
Source: sentinelsource.com, “Traffic deaths up sharply in 2015; speed-limit increase, economy cited”, Ashley Halsey III & Michael Laris, July 2, 2016