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What to Learn from USDOT 2016 Fatal Traffic Crash Data

In order to prevent car accidents, it is important to first understand them. Specifically, researchers need to gain knowledge about the most common causes and types of car accidents to start proposing solutions. This is one of the main goals of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) and its agency, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The USDOT 2016 fatal traffic crash data set was recently released for study and review. It is typical for data to be about two years behind due to the time it takes to collect and analyze it. With this latest data set in hand, what can we learn about car accidents across America?

Key notes of the USDOT 2016 fatal traffic crash data set:

  • Total traffic collision fatalities increased 5.6%, with a total of 37,461.
  • Fatality rate based on vehicle miles traveled increased 2.6%.
  • Distracted driving fatalities decreased by 2.2%.
  • Drunk driving fatalities increased by 1.7%.
  • Fatal motorcycle accidents increased by 5.1%.
  • Pedestrian fatalities increased by 9.0%.
  • Speeding fatalities increased by 4.0%.
  • Deaths of drivers or passengers not wearing seatbelts increased 4.6%.

(To view the entire USDOT and NHTSA 2016 fatal traffic collision report, you can click here to view the official data set from the agencies.)

The total increase of traffic collision fatalities is not a statistic that anyone wants to see, and it indicates a growing problem. Reckless driving deaths definitely saw an increase, with the biggest spikes of fatalities occurring due to unreasonably dangerous behaviors, like intoxicated driving. However, the slight decline in distracted driving deaths — which includes texting-and-driving accidents — is promising. Much of the NHTSA’s recent efforts have been to bring awareness to the dangers of smartphone use behind the wheel. With this decline, it could show that campaign efforts are effective, and, therefore, future campaigns may need to be directed towards other types of driver recklessness.

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Have you been seriously injured in a car accident? Berthold Law Firm, PLLC and our team of West Virginia personal injury attorneys can help you seek compensation. We are also known for our compassion and care handling sensitive wrongful death cases. If you lost a loved one due to the negligence of another driver, we would be honored to help you through this difficult time by offering comprehensive legal guidance and moral support as well.

Find out more about our services and your options by dialing (304) 605-2040 today.