Traffic Fatalities Increased 7.7 Percent in 2015
Drivers logged more miles on the nation’s streets, highways, and interstates in 2015 than in any previous year—and that increase also had an effect on the number of traffic fatalities in the U.S.
According to a report by the Associated Press and WKRN.com, 2015 was the deadliest driving year since 2008 when 37,423 people were killed in traffic accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that there were 35,200 automobile fatalities in 2015—a 7.7 percent increased from 2014.
In addition, the number of non-automobile accidents also increased. Compared to data collected in 2014, bicycle fatalities increased by 13 percent, pedestrian fatalities increased by 10 percent, and motorcycle fatalities increased by nine percent.
The NHTSA’s report goes on to say that Americans drove 3.1 trillion miles in 2015—the most in history. The number of deaths increased from 1.08 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles in 2014 to 1.12 in 2015.
A spokesperson with the NHTSA says that the department is looking into ways to improve automobile safety in the country through things like a revamped safety rating system for new vehicles and the inclusion of automated emergency braking technologies.
5 Vehicle Safety Features That Can Save Lives
The most important thing you can do as a driver when it comes to keeping yourself, your family, and other motorists safe is to always follow traffic laws, never drive while intoxicated, and avoid distractions. In addition to making smart choices behind the wheel, you can also increase your safety by driving vehicles with modern safety features.
Five of the most important safety features in modern vehicles that are proven to save lives and reduce accident risks include the following:
- Seat belts
Wearing a seat belt is mandatory in Tennessee. Drivers and passengers who are caught not wearing one can be ticketed by police officers and highway patrol officers throughout the state. There’s a good reason that wearing a seat belt is required by law—it’s by far the most effective way to prevent or reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities during traffic accidents.
Cars manufactured since 1998 are required to be equipped with front airbags. Modern airbags are equipped with cutting-edge technology, including computerized systems that detect the presence of occupants and their weight and seat position in order to deactivate or de-power to avoid causing additional injuries during accidents. Side airbags are also effective at preventing head and neck injuries.
- Antilock brakes
The ability to slow down or stop is extremely important when it comes to avoiding an accident or reducing the impact of a collision. In the past, car brakes often locked when too much pressure was applied, resulting in drivers losing control. Antilock brakes help drivers maintain control by sensing when wheels are in danger of locking and slowing down the movement of the wheels with rapid braking pulses.
- Traction control
Wet and icy conditions can significantly increase the risk of accidents, especially when drivers aren’t experienced or trained for driving in inclement weather. Traction control systems on modern vehicles work at all speeds and work by throttling power to the engine, transmission, and wheels to help drivers maintain control when their vehicles enter a skid or when they begin to hydroplane.
- Electronic stability control
Roll-over accidents are like head-on collisions in that they are extremely likely to cause victims to suffer disabling and even fatal injuries—especially when the force of the crash causes an ejection. Vehicles equipped with electronic stability control became standard on all vehicles in 2012. These systems help prevent top-heavy vehicles like SUVs and trucks from flipping over if drivers lose control.
In addition to these standard and advanced systems, new vehicles also have a plethora of other safety features like brake assist, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, backup cameras, tire-pressure monitors, and much more.
Having safety features in your vehicle to protect you in the event of a crash—or to help prevent one from occurring—is useful, but it’s important to not be completely reliant on them. The best way to stay safe is to always buckle up, stay focused on the road, and avoid distractions and anything that impairs your ability to drive to the best of your abilities.
If you or someone you love was injured in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver, the Nashville auto accident lawyers at Matt Hardin Law want to speak with you. We have more than two decades of experience fighting for the rights of injured victims, and we know what it takes to get the results they need. To find out how we can help, dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form.