New Data: Traffic Fatalities in 2014 Reveal Injury Risks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released early estimates for the total number of traffic fatalities in 2014.

Statistical projections indicate 32,675 people were killed on our nation’s roads last year. That is a very marginal decrease of just 0.1 percent as compared to 2013, when a total of 32,719 traffic deaths were reported.

While traffic deaths were down slightly last year, in almost every area, the numbers actually shot up by 5 percent in the last quarter. That is when 11,396 people were killed in collisions, as compared to 10,813 reported in the fourth quarter of 2013.That is the first quarterly increase in auto accident fatalities since the third quarter of 2012.

While there has been an overall trend of declining motor vehicle accident deaths in the U.S. since 2006, there have been markedly different statistics when broken down by region.

For example, in Region 4, which includes Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, there has actually been a 2 percent increase in traffic deaths in 2014 as compared to 2013.

In Region 6, which includes Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico, there was a 4 percent increase. Other surrounding regions were either up or down by 2 percent.

The most drastic change came from Region 8, which includes North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Nevada. There, officials reported a 9 percent increase in traffic deaths from 2013 to 2014.

The data is not a comprehensive report, and doesn’t break down data by state and type of crash (drunk driver, speeding, teen drivers, etc.). That will come later when the NHTSA releases its official report.

We do know that in 2013, there were more than 5 million crashes nationally, resulting in more than 2.3 million injuries and nearly 33,000 deaths. Of those roughly one-third were caused by a drunk driver, collectively costing us $242 billion in economic damages for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses.

The rate of fatal crashes counted in total from 2013 to 2014 decreased by 3.1 percent and the injury rate fell by 3.8 percent.

Still, these figures can be misleading as they might make people think car accidents are no longer a serious problem, either in Alabama or elsewhere. That’s simply not true.

Consider some of the recent car accident headlines out of Alabama:

  • One person was killed and three critically injured in Pelham in July following a head-on collision between a passenger vehicle and a tanker truck. One of those injured suffered burns on 80 percent of his body.
  • A 16-year-old was killed and another seriously injured in a single-car crash in Lamar County in late June after driver veered off the road and struck two trees.
  • A 19-year-old football player from Troy University was killed in late June on U.S. 231 in a multiple vehicle collision.

The list goes on, and we see these tragedies every single day in Alabama. Our experienced legal team is dedicated to representing the rights of those who have had their lives impacted as a result of a traffic accident.

Call Allred & Allred P.C. at 334.396.9200 to speak with a Montgomery personal injury lawyer.

Additional Resources:
Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Total Fatalities in 2014, June 2015, Press Release, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
More Blog Entries:
Kelly v. State Farm – Establishing Bad Faith by Auto Insurance Firm, May 31, 2015, Montgomery Car Accident Attorney Blog

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