In 2017, over 37,000 people were fatally injured in motor vehicle accidents throughout the country. As part of an ongoing effort to reduce the number of car accident fatalities, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently identified 10 safety areas that needed improvement. The NTSB’s “Most Wanted” list targets three key factors found in the majority of fatal accidents, including speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Almost one-third of deaths resulting from car accidents involve excessive speed. Operating a motor vehicle at high rates of speed can cause a loss of control. When a car unexpectedly crosses lanes in traffic or strikes another vehicle or object head on, significant bodily injuries can occur. In 2017, speeding was a contributing factor in over 400 fatal collisions. In cases where individuals are driving at rates significantly over the legal limit at the time of a fatal crash, those drivers often face criminal charges including homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault by vehicle, and reckless endangerment.
Distracted driving is the highest priority on the NTSB’s “Most Wanted” list. Using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving is the most common type of distracted driving behavior. Over 15,000 car accidents were attributed to this problem in 2017. In an effort to reduce the number of fatalities, state police have increased their efforts to crack down on this behavior by issuing citations and fines for such activities, including texting while driving.
New Jersey and Pennsylvania motorists with blood alcohol content levels of 0.08 percent or higher are considered legally intoxicated. According to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (Penn DOT) statistics, more than 10,000 motor vehicle accidents in 2017 involved drug and/or alcohol use. Nearly 300 of those crashes resulted in at least one death. Impaired drivers who cause an accident resulting in an injury can face significant monetary fines and jail time if convicted.
Reducing the number of car accident fatalities also depends on improvements in other driving areas. Safety experts encourage greater focus on the development of safety protections for car occupants. The Most Wanted list also included the elimination of driver fatigue and the screening and treatment of sleep apnea for workers in the highway and railroad industries. Another important safety goal requires the installation of collision avoidance systems in all new vehicles.
Even when a fatality is avoided, car collisions can result in serious life altering injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and internal bleeding. These injuries often require years of medical treatment and an inability to work. Holding parties responsible for fatal car accidents by filing a civil lawsuit is one way to deal with these financial losses.
If you have suffered severe injuries or suffered the loss of a loved one in a car accident, the experienced Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at Williams Cedar are ready to help you obtain compensation for your injuries. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients nationwide, especially throughout Pennsylvania and South Jersey. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 215-557-0099 or 856-470-9777 or contact us online.