Traffic deaths are always a concern when there’s been a car accident, but new federal statistics reveal they’ve been trending in the wrong direction – across the country and throughout the state.
In August, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its “Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Quarter of 2022.” It found that nationwide, first-quarter fatalities had increased by about 7% from the same time period a year before.
According to the NHTSA, there were 9,560 crash-related deaths through March – the highest number of first-quarter fatalities on U.S. roads since 2002. But in New Jersey, the news was even worse. Traffic fatalities in the state increased by more than 13% during that time period.
Addressing an ‘escalating emergency’
The alarming numbers have prompted calls for action.
“The overall numbers are still moving in the wrong direction,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s Administrator. “Now is the time for all states to double down on traffic safety. There are more resources than ever for research, interventions and effective messaging and programs that can reverse the deadly trend and save lives.”
Cathy Chase, president of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, also called for using these resources to address an “escalating emergency on our roads.” She encouraged the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue performance standards for automatic emergency braking (EB) and impaired driving prevention technology, as well as other technologies.
“We cannot pin our hopes to address the fatality toll on educational awareness campaigns, which have been implemented for decades, and the future possibility of autonomous vehicles (AVs), especially when verified solutions are available now,” she said.
According to the NHTSA, traffic deaths have steadily risen across the United States since the pandemic, despite there being fewer cars on the road. Fatalities rose from 36,355 in 2019 to 38,824 in 2020 to 42,915 in 2021. Those increases are the highest percentage gains in traffic fatalities since the 1970s, according to federal records.
An experienced attorney can help you recover compensation
Fatalities can happen in any type of car accident, including speeding-related crashes, distracted driving accidents, drowsy driving collisions, and drunk driving accidents. It’s important to hold negligent drivers accountable for the deaths and injuries they cause. But negligent drivers often deny responsibility.
Insurance companies aren’t much help. They often fight claims for compensation and use different tactics to try to pay as little as possible.
The Leigh Law Firm, P.C. understands the impact a fatal accident or serious injury can have on families. Attorney David Leigh used to represent insurance companies and knows how they approach claims. He focuses on building strong cases that insurance companies have to take seriously.
If you lost a loved one in a fatal accident or were injured in a crash in Millburn or anywhere throughout Essex or Union counties, we can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer.