Recently, automakers have created new features designed to make cars safer, such as automatic braking systems and seatbelt warning indicators. But despite this effort, a recent report shows an increase in fatal car accidents in 2016. This increase is the second spike in two years, putting the total of fatal car accidents at a nine-year high.
Did you lose a loved one in a fatal car crash? The Houston fatal car accident lawyers of The Krist Law Firm, P.C. understand how painful your situation can be, and we want to make sure you get the justice you deserve. Find out how we can help by contacting us at (281) 283-8500.
Fatal Car Accidents on the Rise
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 37,461 deaths from car accidents in 2016. This is a major increase from the 2014 all-time low figure of 32,744.
Distracted Driving No Longer #1 Cause
The increase in cell phone usage brought with it a jump in deaths related to distracted driving; however, that figure fell 2.2% in 2016. The main causes of fatal car accidents in 2016 were speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, and motorcycle-related accidents. Other increases included drunk driving and pedestrian deaths. Fatal accidents involving drunk drivers rose 1.7% over last year, and wrecks that killed pedestrians saw a whopping 9% jump over 2015’s figures.
Trends That Led to Accidents
While cell phone use has not had a major contribution to accidents, some experts say drivers are still allowing themselves to get distracted, which ultimately leads to many of these wrecks. AAA did a study on accidents involving newer model cars that are equipped with touch screens. These screens are supposed to aid drivers by putting GPS, radio controls, and Bluetooth capabilities right at their fingertips. Unfortunately though, these touch screens cause more problems than they solve by taking the driver’s attention away from the road for too long.
One solution to this issue prompts auto makers to limit what features can be used while the car is in motion. For example, a number of models AAA tested allow drivers to input GPS directions while they are driving. Drivers can take as much as 40 seconds putting directions in, which means they can travel the length of several football fields without having their eyes on the road. If auto makers prohibit the use of the GPS while the car is moving, drivers would be forced to pull over to perform distracting tasks such as inputting addresses.
Did You Lose a Loved One in A Fatal Car Accident?
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we understand the devastation that comes with the loss of a beloved family member, especially when it’s due to the negligent actions of someone else. When you lose someone in a fatal car accident, you’re entitled to seek compensation to help you cover expenses such as funeral costs and lost wages, so you are free to grieve with your family. For a no-cost evaluation of your case, contact us at (281) 283-8500.