The number of trucker, pedestrian, bicyclist and motorcyclist fatalities is on the rise.
While officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are focusing on an overall reduction in traffic deaths nationwide, the fact remains some of our most vulnerable travelers continue to face increased risks on the road.
We're not discrediting the decrease, we're just saying that maybe a little more attention needs to be paid to the categories that are seeing significant increases in fatal accidents. Our Montgomery accident lawyers understand that there was a near 2 percent decrease in the number of highway fatalities overall. The numbers dropped to less than 32,400 in 2011, making it the lowest number witnessed in the U.S. since 1949. Sounds promising, but did you know that Americans drove less in 2011 than in 2010? And that number is back on the rise amid a recovering economy and falling gas prices.
"As we look to the future, it will be more important than ever to build on this progress by continuing to tackle head-on issues like seat belt use, drunk driving, and driver distraction," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Officials with the NHTSA report that there was a more than 1 percent drop in the number of vehicle miles traveled among Americans in 2011. Fewer miles driven means that drivers are spending less time on the road and are seeing fewer risks for accidents.
In the state of Alabama, there were close to 1,000 people killed in traffic accidents in 2011, according to statistics released this week. This serves as a more than 3.5 percent increase from the previous year. So much for any of that good news affecting us. Our drivers are facing more dangers across the board.
The largest increase in fatalities nationwide was among motorcycle riders. There were 80 motorcyclists killed in 2010 and close to 140 killed in 2011, illustrating a near 90 percent increase.
The number of distracted-driving car accident fatalities saw a steep increase too. Even with all of the newly-enacted distracted driving laws and with the advancements in hands-free technology, we're still seeing thousands die on our roadways because of careless driving.
Females may be getting a little safer behind the wheel. According to the most recent statistics, there was a drop of over 500 fatalities among females.
Head up! Fridays were a little safer in 2011 than they were in 2010. There were actually close to 400 fewer fatalities witnessed on Fridays in 2011.
Overall, there were 36 states that saw a reduction in the number of traffic fatalities. But the work is far from over!
We're not trying to focus on the bad news, we just want to bring it to your attention so we can all make the proper changes needed to improve roadway safety. Some of the simplest moves can help to reduce these accident risks. Wear a seat belt, stay sober behind the wheel and pay attention. The truth of the matter is that most traffic accidents are preventable.
If you or someone in your family has been injured in a traffic accident, call Allred & Allred P.C. at 1-866-942-9315 to speak with a personal injury attorney today.
More Blog Entries:
Alabama Traffic Crashes: Darkness and Daylight Savings Time, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, November 7, 2012
Alabama Traffic Accidents: Parents Behaving Badly, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, October 2, 2012