Traffic Fatalities Top 40,000 for Second Consecutive Year
With all of the safety equipment available in today’s motor vehicles, from passenger sensing systems designed to protect small children to automatic emergency braking for preventing accidents, you would think that the number of Americans dying on our roadways would see a steep decline. You’d be wrong.
Traffic fatalities are higher than you think
The National Safety Council estimates that motor vehicle deaths in 2017 totaled 40,100, down just one percent from the 2016 figure of 40,327. Moreover, the number of motor vehicle fatalities in 2017 was 6 percent higher than 2015. The council notes that this was the steepest two-year increase in more than 50 years.
Further, about 4.57 million people in motor vehicle accidents in 2017 suffered injuries that required medical attention. The cost of those injuries was a mind-boggling $413.8 billion.
The news is even worse in New Hampshire. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety / Highway Loss Data Institute, the state leads the nation in percentage of fatal single-vehicle accidents (73 percent, tied with Montana and Vermont). This is because fewer than 40 percent of residents use their seat belts.
The use of seat belts is just one safety measure encouraged by the National Safety Council. Others include:
- Practicing defensive driving
- Designating a sober driver or arranging alternative transportation
- Avoiding driving while fatigued
- Driving attentively and avoiding distractions
- Recognizing the risks of drugged driving
- Proper use of a vehicle’s safety systems
- Following up immediately on vehicle recalls
- Being proactive in encouraging your state lawmakers to adopt and enforce traffic safety laws.
New Hampshire, by the way, earns a “D” grade in rankings by the council.
Safeguards you can take
Unfortunately, no matter how cautious you are when driving on the roads of New Hampshire, your fate can rest in the hands of another motorist. It could be a fatigued trucker ignoring federal laws meant to mandate rest periods. It could be someone driving drunk. It could be a teenager paying more attention to his or her phone than the road.
One moment, you’re enjoying a leisurely drive with your family. The next, your lives are shattered. You are facing major medical bills, extended physical therapy for your injuries or, worse, the tragic loss of a loved one. Adding to your burden are the complex legalities of a major accident. Insurance companies will be hounding you to accept a financial settlement that, while tempting in your time of need, is far less than you deserve.
That’s when you need the experience of Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin, P.A., one of the oldest and most trusted law firms in the state, having served New Hampshire since 1870. Their auto injury experts have handled countless cases just like yours. They know how to deal with insurance companies and how to treat you professionally and compassionately.