Drivers in Jonesboro, Paragould, Craighead County, Lawrence County, Greene County and statewide need to be aware that motor vehicle collisions remain a top cause of death. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released some good news about the number of motor vehicle collision fatalities that happened over the course of 2013. While the number of people killed in car crashes declined in 2013 compared with 2012, a personal injury lawyer knows certain groups of road users remain more unsafe than ever.
Are U.S. Roads Really Getting Safer?
The NHTSA has reported that 3.1 percent fewer people were killed in car crashes in the United States over the course of 2013 as compared with 2012. This statistic was touted as part of a decline in traffic deaths that has been documented for several decades.
From the 1970s to today, there has been around a 41 percent decline in the motor vehicle accident death rate. However, USA Today reports that this statistic is not really as good as it seems. In other countries like the Netherlands and Germany, there has been an 81 percent decline in the death rate over this same time period. A total of 25 other countries have brought their death tolls down more than the United States has.
Other countries are probably doing better than the U.S. because they have focused on different things. In the United States, a lot of the emphasis has been on improving safety technologies in vehicles so that when crashes happen, fewer people die. This has worked to save lives of people in cars but is basically ineffective at saving the lives of other people on the road like pedestrians, those who ride bicycles, and people who ride motorcycles.
People in all of these groups did not fare so well, according to the NHTSA's 2013 statistics. In fact, in 2013, the number of bicycle riders killed in crashes increased 1.2 percent. There are more bike riders who were killed in car accidents over the course of 2013 than any time since 2006.
Both the pedestrian death toll and the number of motorcyclists killed in car crashes decreased slightly in 2013 compared to 2012. However, these declines did not do very much to offset the large increases in fatalities among walkers and bikers that had happened over recent years. For example, even with the decline last year in the number of pedestrians who got killed in car crashes, there has still been a 15 percent increase in pedestrian deaths since 2009.
These road users are not going to get any safer no matter what improvements are made to in-car technology. In fact, there is a limit to the amount of impact that technological improvements can have. The only way to truly bring the death toll down in the United States and to save thousands of lives is to make changes in the way people drive. If motorists are more responsible and stop doing things like driving distracted or drinking while driving, these shifts would have a real impact in the number of people killed every year.
If you were injured or a loved one died in a truck accident, a Jonesboro personal injury lawyer can fight to protect your rights. Contact the McDaniel Law Firm at 1-855-524-4744. Serving Northeast Arkansas including Jonesboro, Paragould, Craighead County, Lawrence County, Greene County, Mississippi County, Poinsett County and surrounding areas.