There were 35,092 people killed in automobile crashes in 2015. It’s a figure that represents an increase of 7.7% over those who died in 2014. It is a figure that shows that America’s roads are becoming more dangerous as more drivers, and more threats take to the country’s roads.
Fatalities at a Glance
In 2014, the National Traffic Safety Administration recorded 32,675 fatalities. This was a decrease from the 32,719 motorists who died in 2013. Review of these statistics led federal agencies to create predictions that the trend would continue in 2015. That didn’t happen and law enforcement recorded a sharp increase to 35,092 fatalities in 2015.
These statistics mean that 10.25 people died per 100,000 motorists on the road. Regulators point out that while the number of fatalities have climbed sharply, the overall accident rate per 100,000 population, and per miles driven has actually continued a steady decline that began in 1995.
Car Accident Costs are Rising
Based on NHTSA data, the costs of automobile accidents are anything but insignificant. in 2010, accidents costs the economy nearly $277 billion in the form of medical expenses, lost wages, legal fees, and emergency services. This is roughly $897 for every single American citizen.
Accidents also cause considerable property damage. It’s estimated that accidents cause approximately $76.2 billion in property damage. However, their greatest impact regards quality of life. It is estimated that car accidents add $594 billion to the long-term cost of having a car accident.
Driver Behavior is a Leading Factor in Increased Accident Rates
Driving behaviors such as speeding, drunk driving, aggressive driving, and distracted driving are creating increased accident risks.
In 2014, speeding claimed 9,262 lives on American roadways. Speed is recognized as a contributing factor in 28% of all motor vehicle accident fatalities. According to the NHTSA, speeding costs Americans $40.4 billion per year.
Data also showed that drunk driving claimed 9,967 lives in 2014. That number rose to 10,265 in 2015.
Another cause for increasing alarm is the number of fatigue-related accidents. Studies conducted by AAA showed that 37% of drivers admit to falling asleep behind the wheel. NHTSA shows that 21% of fatal crashes involve a fatigued driver.
Finally, Chicago accident lawyers point out that distracted driving rates are rising. In 2014, 3,179 people died, and 431,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents. These account for 10% of all fatalities, and 18% of all injuries.