Decline in Traffic Deaths Means Wilmington Drivers are Safer?
In the United States in 2013, there were a total of 32,719 people killed in motor vehicle traffic accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported this news while also touting that this reflects a decline in the number of fatalities. However, a personal injury lawyer knows the reduction in deaths from 2012 to 2013 is only part of the story. Motorists in Blue Point, Carolina Place, Forest Cove, Forest Hills and the rest of the Wilmington area remain at serious risk of being hurt or killed in a crash, especially if they are riding a bike, on a motorcycle or walking.
Traffic Accident Statistics Don't Show that the Roads are Safer
The NHTSA reported a 3.1 percent reduction in the number of people who were killed in collisions over the course of 2013. This is undeniably good news. However, while the U.S. has reduced the number of deaths in the past few decades, most other countries have had a much better track record of keeping motorists safe.
Since the 1970s, the United States has experienced a 41 percent reduction in car accidents. This sounds good, until you look at statistics showing that 25 other countries had greater declines in fatalities. In most cases, these other countries had a much greater reduction in the fatality rate. In both Germany and the Netherlands, there was more than an 81 percent reduction in deaths. An article in USA Today suggests that the reason the U.S. has not reduced fatalities as much as other countries is because the United States has focused more on improving vehicle safety technologies and not on changing driving behavior to actually encourage people to be better drivers. Cars are better at alerting drivers to problems and preventing crashes, and cars are better at keeping people alive when accidents do happen.
Of course, bicycle riders, pedestrians and motorcyclists don't benefit from these improvements in vehicle safety devices. This may help to explain why death rates for these groups remain very high.
In 2013, even as the NHTSA was indicating that there were fewer deaths, the number of people who died in bicycle accidents actually increased by 1.2 percent. There was a higher rate of bicycle drivers killed over the course of 2013 than at any time since 2006.
A decline in deaths for both motorcyclists and pedestrians was reported, but these declines were not enough to offset the increases in fatality rates for these motorists that have been increasing in recent years. The reduction in motorcyclist deaths was the first time the death rate has gone down since 2009. The number of pedestrians killed fell slightly to 4,735 but there were still 15 percent more pedestrians who were killed over the course of 2013 than during 2009.
Until motorists actually change their habits and make safer driving decisions, the death rate will never experience dramatic decreases and vulnerable population will continue to lose their lives in record numbers. Every driver needs to take responsibility for making safe choices and reducing the number of accidents that occur on the road.
Help is available for accidents victims in Willmington, NC. Contact the Law Offices of Richard Flexner at 800-FLEXNER or visit https://www.getflexner.com to schedule a free consultation. Serving Blue Point, Carolina Place, Forest Cove, Forest Hills and the rest of the Wilmington area.