2016 traffic fatality statistics for the United States have recently been released. They show that the recent trend of increased car accident fatalities is continuing. Michigan drivers were not immune from this trend. Every day, Macomb County families are affected by injuries and deaths on the roadway. Learn more about these trends and what Michigan drivers can do to stay safe on the road. And if you or a loved one is involved in a traffic accident, be sure to contact an experienced Macomb County car accident attorney as soon as possible. It is important to hold negligent drivers accountable for their dangerous behavior in order to keep the roads of Michigan safe for everyone.
Why Are Car Accident Fatalities on the Rise?
Fewer vehicles were on the road after the economic crash of 2008, and traffic fatalities experienced a corresponding drop. The Washington Post reports that United State traffic fatalities hit an all-time low in 2011. Unfortunately, traffic fatalities have been steadily climbing ever since. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than thirty-seven thousand fatal injuries were sustained on the roads of America in 2016. This was an increase of 5.6 percent of the number of fatalities in 2015. Now, in 2017, more than eighteen thousand people died on the roads of America between January 1 and June 31. These figures put America on pace for as many - or more - traffic fatalities in 2017 as were experienced in 2016. The traffic accident fatality statistics in Michigan have closely mirrored these national trends. Data from the Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Reporting Unit reveals that 2011 saw a reduction in overall fatalities, which steadily increased every year (with the exception of 2014) until the most recent reports from 2016.
So why do the number of fatal traffic accidents continue to rise across the country? With new safety features which are becoming increasingly common in vehicles, shouldn’t the number of traffic accidents be reduced? Unfortunately, no amount of safety technology is a substitute for simple defensive driving. They also cannot replace the importance of older safety features, such as seat belts. The Michigan State Police data reveals that approximately half of all traffic fatality victims were unrestrained at the time of the accident. Seat belt use has consistently been proven to prevent fatal injuries over decades of research. Beyond this, it is also a legal requirement. Section 257.710(e) of the Michigan Vehicle Code requires all operators and front seat passengers of motor vehicles to wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety belt. The statute also provides that failure to wear a safety belt may be evidence of negligence. This can reduce an accident victim’s ability to recover compensation for his or her injuries. A defendant is only obligated to compensate that portion of damages for which he or she is liable. If a victim was partially negligent by failing to wear a seat belt, his or her compensation will be reduced accordingly.
An experienced Macomb County auto accident attorney will secure full and fair compensation for car accident victims. Injury victims are legally entitled to be compensated for their medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, property damage, and all other financial losses which were caused by a negligent driver.