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Increase in Roadway Fatalities for Another Straight Year

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According to data recently released by the nonprofit research group National Safety Council (NSC), the number of fatalities on US roads climbed once again in 2016. One of the factors in this rise is an uptick in fatal car accidents caused by intoxicated drivers. In an effort to get drunk driving under control, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has teamed up with a tech researcher who believes that there may be a solution for drunk driving in technology.

2015 was an exceptionally deadly year on American roads. For the first time in 50 years, the number of traffic-related fatalities increased over those of the previous year. Unfortunately, 2016 proved to be even more deadly. For the second year in a row, the number of deaths on US roads rose in 2016. The NSC reported that approximately 40,200 individuals died on the roads across the US last year, marking a 6% increase over the previous year’s totals. That number marks a 14% increase over the total number of traffic deaths in 2014.

Many experts have suggested that the improvements to the economy and more affordable gas prices have resulted in more drivers being on the road. In fact, the total number of vehicle miles traveled rose in 2016 over 2015’s record numbers. That said, the total number of miles driven did not increase to the same degree as the total number of deaths, so questions still remain about what is causing the greater number of fatalities.

The NSC has reported for years that human behavior and error is responsible for the vast majority—over 90%–of all roadway fatalities. The top three causes are essentially fixed from year to year: Excessive speed, distracted driving, and drunken driving. Driving under the influence accounts for approximately 30% of all deaths on the road. To address these needless deaths, the NHTSA has formed a partnership with the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) project. This safety research project is focused on creating an unobtrusive means of testing a driver’s blood alcohol level that would come pre-installed in new vehicles as an optional safety feature. The group has partnered with two automotive accessory manufacturers to create prototypes of the systems, one which would test a driver’s blood alcohol level using touch on the steering wheel, and one which would use a driver’s breath. The systems are still several years off from being market-ready, however.

If you’ve been hurt on the road by a negligent or drunk driver in Florida or Alabama, seek the compensation you’re owed for your injuries by contacting the knowledgeable and dedicated personal injury lawyers at Whibbs Stone Barnett for a consultation at 1-888-219-4561, with Florida offices in Ft. Walton Beach and Pensacola, and Alabama offices in Fairhope.