Auto Accidents Rise In New Hampshire Despite Dangerous Driving Crackdown
So far in 2018, New Hampshire has seen a 22 percent increase in road deaths compared to the same period in 2017. This includes accidents involving passenger-vehicle drivers, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.
In an audio interview published on New Hampshire Public Radio, members of the New Hampshire Traffic Safety Commission attribute the rise in fatal crashes to the following factors:
- Distracted driving: This is one of the leading causes of fatal accidents, not just in New Hampshire, but across the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving caused 3,450 traffic fatalities in the US in 2016.
- Speeding: The faster a driver travels, the more likely a crash will result in severe or fatal injuries. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, approximately 112,580 road deaths were attributed to speeding between 2005 and 2014.
- Changes in the road due to construction: When lanes are closed off or traffic needs to be directed due to a work zone, many drivers are unprepared. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, in 2015, there were 96,626 work zone crashes in the US. Approximately 26.4 percent of those crashes resulted in injuries and 0.7 percent resulted in fatalities.
- Alcohol and drug-impaired driving: In 2016, drunk driving resulted in 10,497 road deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This accounted for 28 percent of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. Additionally, drugs other than alcohol were responsible for 16 percent of all traffic accidents.
- Tired driving: The NHTSA reports that drowsy driving resulted in 824 deaths across the U.S. in 2015. Recently, a driver from Hartford, Connecticut fell asleep behind the wheel on I-93 in Londonderry.
Despite the consequences, negligent drivers still put other road users in danger
Efforts to curb dangerous driving on New Hampshire roads can only go so far. For example, New Hampshire’s hands-free law (RSA 265:79-c) went into effect in 2015. The law prohibits drivers from using handheld electronic devices while driving. Drivers can, however, use electronic devices connected to a headset via Bluetooth. Since then, according to the audio interview, law enforcement reissued 9,368 summonses to motorists using handheld devices while driving in New Hampshire. Shockingly, 251 of those cited were repeat offenders.
Despite the consequences, and law enforcement’s efforts to crack down on dangerous driving, some motorists will continue to put others’ lives at risk. If you or a loved one was injured in a crash, you need an experienced auto accident attorney on your side.
Contact Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation.