Recent statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration do not paint a positive picture for Florida drivers. The NHTSA report indicates that more than 37,000 people were killed in road traffic accidents across the United States in 2016. This represents a 5.6 percent year-on-year increase, and it is the highest number of fatal crashes on record since 2007.
The report gives cause for concern at a time when the use of public transportation is on the rise while technologies to promote driver safety are increasingly being incorporated into new vehicles. In the years between 2007 and 2014, automotive safety engineers, actuaries and insurance company executives were pleased to see fatal crashes reduced all the way down to 32,744 per year; unfortunately, that trend seems to be in a worrisome reversal.
As can be expected, excessive speeding was deemed to be a major factor in the high number of highway deaths during 2016. A large percentage of fatalities also involved motorcycles and failure to fasten seat belts. Distracted driving cases continue to claim lives with 3,450 in 2016, a slight decrease from the previous year.
The prospect of deadly car accidents increasing across the country should serve as a reminder to Florida drivers that they need to stay alert on the highways. Furthermore, drivers should be aware of their legal rights when they are involved in an accident. Auto insurance companies are known to dangle quick payouts and simplified settlements even when there are expensive medical bills and serious injuries to consider. A personal injury attorney could help an accident victim, particularly when there are suspicions about road rage, distracted driving or other factors to consider.