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Traffic Fatalities Decline, But Remain Higher Than Before Pandemic

SUV overturned by roadside memorial in Central Florida.

According to newly released estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 19,515 people were killed in car accidents and other motor vehicle traffic crashes in the first half of 2023. That’s a decrease of roughly 3.3% compared to the first half of 2022, which saw 20,190 fatalities.

Roadway deaths remain a problem

Unfortunately, traffic fatalities are still higher than they were before the pandemic. There were 17,025 fatalities in the first half of 2019.

“While we are encouraged to see traffic fatalities continue to decline from the height of the pandemic, there’s still significantly more work to be done,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson.

Florida had an estimated 1,772 fatalities in the first half of 2023, down 3.7% from the same period the year before.

A focus on making roads safer

The NHTSA plans to address traffic safety through several initiatives, including:

  • A proposed rule to require automatic emergency braking (AEB) and pedestrian AEB systems in passenger cars and light trucks
  • Increased funding for programs addressing risky driving behaviors;
  • Collecting more data about crashes involving automated driving systems and advanced driver assistance systems
  • The launch of the Call to Action campaign, a comprehensive plan to make roads safer involving government, law enforcement agencies, industry, nonprofit organizations, and other entities.

Jonathan Adkins, chief executive officer of the Governors Highway Safety Association, said even more needs to be done to make the roads safer.

“This recent trend toward fewer deaths on our nation’s roads is welcome news,” he said. “We cannot let this gradual progress in roadway safety lessen the urgency of the safety crisis and the need for further action.”

What causes traffic fatalities?

Some of the most common causes of fatal accidents include:

  • Speeding – Speeding endangers people on the road by reducing reaction time, making it very difficult for a driver to stop in time to prevent a collision. Speeding also increases the severity of injuries sustained in car accidents.
  • Drunk driving – Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs have impaired judgment, coordination, and reaction times. A drunk or high driver is more likely to fall asleep at the wheel, engage in reckless driving behaviors, and fail to recognize other road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Reckless driving – Drivers who engage in aggressive behaviors such as speeding, weaving through traffic, illegal passing, and ignoring traffic laws are more likely to cause a serious accident.
  • Distracted driving – When drivers divert their attention from the road to phones, eating, or other distractions, they are more likely to cause a collision. Texting while driving is by far the most dangerous form of distracted driving, as it falls under all three categories of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive.

Family members can seek financial compensation after the death of a loved one in a car accident due to negligence. This includes compensation for final medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and other damages.

An experienced car accident lawyer can help you seek justice and accountbility

However, recovering compensation can be complicated. Negligent drivers often deny doing anything wrong and refuse to accept responsibility. Insurance companies dispute claims and will use many different tactics to try to minimize total compensation, such as blaming the victim for what happened and disputing liability.

That’s why it’s important to have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side. The Law Offices of Brent C. Miller fights for crash victims in Tavares, The Villages, Inverness, Clermont, and surrounding communities. We investigate accidents to gather evidence that proves negligence and fight for the compensation you deserve.

If you lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, we can help. Contact us today to review your potential legal options during a free and confidential consultation.

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