The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently issued a press release regarding preliminary car crash data from 2015. According to the NHTSA, there was a 7.7 percent increase in motor vehicle traffic deaths in 2015. An estimated 35,200 people were killed in car crashes in 2015. That’s up from the 32,675 deaths reported in 2014. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was quick to point out that every American should be able to drive, ride or walk to their destinations safely. At this time, the NHTSA is analyzing the data to determine how and why there was such an increase in car crash fatalities last year.

Lower Gas Prices, More Driving

An initial interpretation of that data shows that with a decrease in gas prices, there has been an increase in miles travelled on U.S. roadways. Drivers are taking to the roadways for more trips. With more miles travelled, there is obviously the possibility of more injury causing and potentially fatal car crashes. Officials with the NHTSA are quick to point out that lower gas prices and an improving economy aren’t the only factors associated with an increase in fatal crashes. Ultimately, 94 percent of all car crashes are attributed to human errors and decisions made behind the wheel. It’s important for researchers to analyze all the data associated with this sharp increase in traffic crash fatalities to determine what can be done to improve safety for motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcycle riders and all other roadway users.

Vulnerable Roadway User Groups See Sharpest Increase in Deaths

The nation’s most vulnerable roadway user groups saw the sharpest increases in motor vehicle related traffic fatalities. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle riders continue to be the most vulnerable roadway users. Early estimates indicate that pedestrians saw a 10 percent increase in traffic crash fatalities, and cyclist fatalities increased by 13 percent. Motorcycle rider deaths also increase by about nine percent. At this time, there has been no word on why these groups have seen such sharp increases in roadway fatalities, but one speculation could be related to distracted driving.

Car Accidents in Asheville

If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a car accident in Asheville or in any of the surrounding Western North Carolina communities, contact Davis Law Group, P.A. at 866-397-2897 for a free case consultation.