New numbers released by the federal government show an alarming trend. During the first half of this year, the number of traffic fatalities on U.S. roadways jumped 9 percent. Estimates show that more than 16,000 people have died so far this year.
A spokesman for the American Automobile Association says the numbers are "disturbing," especially since traffic fatalities have been on the decline in recent years. In fact, there was a 27 percent drop in traffic fatalities during the first half of the year from 2006 to 2011.
One explanation for the rise in traffic fatalities is the sheer number of motor vehicles on the roadways. An improved economy has put more cars, trucks and other vehicles on the roads. In addition, people are driving more miles. During the first half of the year, people drove 15.6 billion more miles compared to the first half of 2011. With so many additional miles traveled, more roads are in need of repairs.
Although faulty roads can cause serious accidents, negligent drivers can leave people with devastating injuries. Sadly, one driver's reckless behavior can cause fatal injuries.
Drivers in New York City and beyond have a duty to exercise caution when they are behind the wheel. A driver's inattention, failure to obey traffic laws and blatant disregard for the safety of other motorists can cause tragic accidents. Fortunately, legal options exist for accident victims and their surviving family members to hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions.
New York residents who have been injured in a car accident, as well as family members who have lost a loved one as a result of a negligent driver would be wise to consult with an experienced attorney. An attorney will work hard to get people the compensation they are entitled to.
Source: CNN, "Traffic fatalities up 9% in first half of 2012," Jim Barnett, Sept. 28, 2012