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Traffic Fatalities Decrease by 3.3% in the First Half of 2023

Heavy traffic on a busy highway.

Traffic fatalities have been an ongoing problem on New Hampshire and U.S. roads, with staggering numbers persisting each year. The car accident attorneys at Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin have seen the devastation negligent drivers cause injured motorists and their families.

Roadway deaths are down, but more work still needs to be done

The good news is that new figures show a decrease in traffic deaths. However, there's much work to be done to address the high rate of traffic fatalities. Many serious crashes are caused by:

  • Impaired driving - In 2021, 13,384 deaths were lost due to impaired driving. This includes accidents caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. Despite widespread awareness campaigns and stricter laws, impaired driving remains a significant problem on our roads.
  • Speeding - Speeding continues to be a major factor in traffic fatalities, contributing to 12,330 deaths in 2021. Excessive speed reduces a driver's reaction time and increases the severity of injuries in a collision.
  • Distracted driving - In 2021, distracted driving resulted in 3,522 deaths. Distractions such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or using in-car entertainment systems divert a driver's attention away from the road, significantly increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Drowsy driving - Fatigue on the road is another concerning factor, leading to 684 deaths in 2021. Drivers who are drowsy or fatigued have reduced focus, impaired decision-making abilities, and slower reaction times, making them more prone to accidents.

How much have traffic fatalities dropped in the U.S.?

According to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 19,515 traffic fatalities occurred from January to June 2023. That's a 3.3% decrease from the 20,190 deaths recorded during the same period in 2022.

This figure remains significantly higher than the 17,065 fatalities in the first half of 2019. In 2021, the nation had a staggering 10.5% increase in traffic-related deaths, reaching 42,915 fatalities. This was the highest number of road fatalities recorded in a single year since 2005.

The decrease in traffic fatalities during the first half of 2023 is noteworthy, especially considering that overall driving increased by 2.3% during this period.

Which states saw a decrease in traffic fatalities?

The report shows that not all states experienced a drop in traffic deaths. There were increases in 21 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The remaining 29 states experienced decreases.

New Hampshire is one of the 29 states that saw a decrease in roadway deaths. There were 55 fatalities during the first half of 2023, which is a 14.2% decrease from 64 deaths during the same period in 2022.

Are traffic deaths being taken seriously enough?

Ann Carlson, the Acting Administrator of NHTSA, noted that some drivers had developed a habit of speeding during the pandemic. Many of these drivers believe they can do so without consequences. She also emphasized that impaired driving remains a significant danger on the road.

Carlson further highlighted the public's perception of road fatalities versus other transportation incidents. "If we have one plane crash, it absolutely changes the way people perceive the risk of flying," Carlson said.

This contrast emphasizes the need for continued efforts to improve road safety and reduce traffic-related fatalities in the United States.

Crash victims should know their potential legal options

When you've been injured in a car accident, it's essential to understand that you have the right to seek compensation for your losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and other losses resulting from the accident.

At Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin P.A., our New Hampshire car accident lawyers have a deep understanding of the civil justice system and can work to build a strong case on your behalf for the compensation you deserve.

Our attorneys know that dealing with the aftermath of a serious crash can be overwhelming and stressful. Insurance companies may try to minimize your claim or deny it altogether, leaving you in a vulnerable position. That's where we can step in and help. Our legal team is here to answer your questions, address your concerns, and fight for your rights every step of the way.

If you've been injured in a car accident in New Hampshire, don't hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. Our offices are located in Dover and Portsmouth, and we look forward to speaking with you about your potential legal case.

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