Traffic Deaths on the Rise Despite Decreased Driving
In recent years, overall driving mileage has decreased across the United States. However, traffic deaths have soared, reaching near-historic highs in several states. The New Hampshire car accident lawyers at Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin have been following this alarming trend over the last few years. Our legal team is committed to holding negligent and reckless drivers accountable, so our roads are safer.
Have traffic deaths increased in New Hampshire?
A Stateline analysis of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics shows a stark contrast from 2019 to 2022. Traffic deaths have increased by a staggering 18%. That's despite a 3% decrease in overall driving.
New Hampshire is among the states that have been hit the hardest by traffic fatalities. The state experienced a 47% increase in traffic fatalities from 2019 to 2022.
What's causing the rise in traffic fatalities?
This surge in road deaths has been attributed to a decline in driving standards, a trend that became noticeable during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic's early phase, which saw less crowded roads, might have inadvertently fostered riskier driving behaviors, including reduced seatbelt usage and reckless driving.
Additionally, law enforcement agencies have faced obstacles, including reduced staffing and other challenges that led to a decrease in traffic violation enforcement. This trend is more pronounced in urban areas, suburbs, and small towns, while rural areas have been relatively less affected.
The rise in traffic fatalities has predominantly been linked to:
- Speeding: Speeding resulted in 12,330 traffic deaths in 2021, according to the NHTSA.
- Distracted driving: NHTSA data shows that distracted driving was responsible for 3,522 road deaths in 2021.
- Impaired driving: According to the NHTSA, 13,384 people died in crashes caused by drunk driving during 2021.
How are officials responding to the rise in traffic fatalities?
In response to the staggering rise in traffic deaths, many states and cities are considering various measures. These include increasing police patrols and integrating technologies such as speed and red-light cameras. However, these initiatives have sparked debates, particularly regarding their impact on low-income drivers and concerns about privacy and due process.
Jonathan Adkins, CEO of the Governors Highway Safety Association, has highlighted the need for equitable and effective traffic law enforcement. He has pointed out that traffic cameras and similar technology could play a crucial role in preventing fatal car accidents.
However, some states are resistant to automated traffic enforcement. Groups such as the National Motorists Association oppose such measures on the grounds of due process and reliability concerns.
As states look toward European models for traffic control and enforcement, the debate over the best approach to enhance road safety while respecting individual rights and ensuring societal equity continues. The goal of initiatives like "Vision Zero," which aims to completely eradicate traffic deaths, remains challenging but increasingly critical in light of these troubling statistics.
Millions recovered for New Hampshire crash victims
While efforts to keep traffic deaths may provide a glimmer of hope, the risk persists. That's why the car accident attorneys at Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin, P.A. fight for the rights of injured motorists and their families throughout New Hampshire. We know the tactics insurance companies use to keep their costs down and pay victims less. We won't let them take advantage of you.
We'll work tirelessly to build a strong case on your behalf and fight to recover every dollar owed to you in damages. To find out how we can help, contact us online and schedule your free consultation with a law firm that's been fighting for New Hampshire's injured for over 150 years. Our offices are located in Dover and Portsmouth, NH.