Seattle, WA- Technologies are making cars and trucks safer, but the roads and highways in the U.S. are getting perilous for cyclists, motorists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. More and more deadly and injurious crashes are happening in Washington State and across the U.S. according to a new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The shows that traffic fatalities increased in 2016 as did reckless behaviors like drunken driving, speeding and a refusing to buckle up.
Key Findings from the NHTSA Annual Report
For the second straight year, fatal traffic crashes increased, rising 5.60 percent nationwide over 2015, including a rise in several categories of accidents in 2016, according to the NHTSA’s annual report. The report which was released Friday, October 6, 2017, found that Americans traveled 2.2 percent more miles in 2016 than in 2015.
Fatalities increased in several categories, including the following:
Traffic deaths increased for the following categories:
Speed-related fatalities increased by 4 percent
Drunk driving fatalities increased 1.7 percent
Fatalities of unbelted drivers increased by 4.6 percent
Motorcycle fatalities increased by 5.1 percent
Bicyclist fatalities increased by 1.3 percent
Pedestrian fatalities increased by 9 percent
Speeding, motorcycle crashes and fewer drivers wearing their seat belts were the most significant drivers of the nationwide increase, according to the report.
Although distracted driving is a leading cause of traffic accidents in recent years, there was a surprising drop in these types of crashes in 2016 nationwide, dropping 2.1 percent. Fatal drowsy driving incidents also fell 3.5 percent.
While the data is dismal on the national level, Washington experienced a 2.5 percent decline in fatal traffic accidents, but there was a 12.6 percent increase in drunk driving deaths statewide.
Washington Laws Against Distracted Driving
While fatal distracted driving accidents decreased in 2016, it is still a major issue in Washington State. A Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) study released in February 2017, researchers found that one in ten motorists in the state drive while distracted.
Washington recently enacted a law to prevent distracted driving. It went into effect in July and forbids drivers from holding any electronic device whether driving or stopped at a light. You can use a hand-held device if you pull over to a safe area or are parked. If an officer sees you with a hand-held device, you can be ticketed.
The law also prohibits drivers from engaging in other distracting behaviors like reading, or grooming. You can only be ticketed for these actions if an officer has seen you commit a primary traffic offense such as speeding or running a red light.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Seattle
In the report, the federal agency noted that 94 percent of fatal crashes were the result of “poor choices.” Motorists have a duty to act in the best interests of their passengers and anyone else they are sharing the road with including other motorists, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. Victims of negligent drivers are encouraged to act and contact a car accident attorney in Seattle to talk about their legal courses of action.
At USAttorneys.com, you will find outstanding car accident lawyers serving Seattle who know what it takes to build a winning injury claim. We have operators online 24 hours a day. They will get the details of your case and refer it to one our accredited and knowledgeable attorneys.