Newly released estimates from the National Safety Council (NSC) show that each year for the last three years at least 40,000 Americans died in car accidents. The NSC has kept records regarding traffic fatalities since 1921. The data is collected every month from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.
In 2018, around 40,000 people died in car wrecks and about 4.5 million suffered serious injuries. The head of the NSC declared these numbers far too high given the amount of new auto safety technology that exists. He said that there needs to be a commitment to implementing technology advancements and creating a safer driving culture in the U.S.
The vast majority of car wrecks are caused by human error and many see the advent of autonomous vehicles as the solution. The President and CEO of Securing America’s Energy Future (SAFE) likened AV technology to a vaccine that needs to be deployed as soon as possible to save more lives. He said that through use of driver-assist and crash-avoidance technologies, approximately 9,900 lives could be saved every year. He cited research done by the Boston Consulting Group that showed that car crashes could be reduced by 28 percent simply by implementing the advanced safety technologies already available.
Fatalities in 2018 were 14 percent higher than numbers from four years ago. While the NSC does not publish data regarding the causes of accidents, pedestrian deaths were up in 2017 and distracted driving was a factor in eight percent of crashes. The Council concluded that driver behavior is likely a significant factor in the consistently high number of fatalities over the past three years.
Seven states plus the District of Columbia experienced at least a 5.8 percent rise in fatalities. They included Florida, Hawaii, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon and Pennsylvania.
Many cars already come equipped with advanced driver assistance systems. These technologies include back-up cameras, now mandatory in all new cars in the U.S., brake assist, lane keeping warning systems, and blind spot notification. Many drivers welcome these technologies and more such as parking assistance. As the public becomes comfortable using advanced safety technology systems, the next step is the move to fully automated vehicles. Fleets of autonomous vehicles are already being tested in Las Vegas, and safety groups are pushing for policymakers to implement AV technology to reduce car accident fatalities.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident that was the result of the negligence of another person, you may be eligible for compensation. The experienced Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will review your case for free and help you determine the best legal strategy for maximum compensation. Call 800-531-9780 today or contact us online.
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