The first six months of 2015 saw a 7 percent increase in motor vehicle fatalities in Pennsylvania, with an estimated 552 people losing their lives.
Nationwide, there was a 14 percent increase in motor vehicle deaths, with 36 states reporting increases in the first six months of 2015 as compared to the same time period in 2014. Some believe potential contributing factors for the increase in traffic deaths include the following:
- A stronger economy, lower gas prices, and lower unemployment rates may have resulted in more people on the roadway’s;
- Driver distraction from cellphone use and texting could have contributed to the increase in auto-related fatalities; and
- Many states have raised their roadway speed limits.
Distracted Driving Causing More Accidents?
It is believed that the increase in auto accident fatalities is not due solely to the rise in miles driven. Therefore, it seems highly likely that distracted driving is a factor. Despite the fact that many states have made texting while driving illegal, the numbers of those who engage in such risky behavior appears to be increasing. Nearly every driver has seen instances of other drivers looking down at their phones instead of looking ahead at the road and the vehicles around them.
Drivers also talk on their phones, eat, adjust their automobile’s GPS, radios and other gadgets, talk to passengers, turn around to see what the children are doing, watch something happening on the side of the road or “zone out” in their own thoughts. All of these behaviors vastly increase the likelihood of an accident which could potentially have fatal consequences. Despite the fact that distracted driving can cause deaths, it is difficult to convince drivers to put down their devices and focus on the task at hand—driving.
An 85-Year Low in Pennsylvania Traffic Accidents in 2013
Pennsylvania’s traffic accident records looked fairly good in 2013; the overall number of traffic fatalities fell to an 85-year low. However statistics were alarming. In 2013, while speeding, lack of seat belts and intoxication-related accidents did decrease, distracted driving accidents and head-on crashes increased. The number of distracted driving accidents is believed to be largely related to texting and driving. Drivers who send texts can travel hundreds of yards with their eyes on their phone rather than on the road. The increase in head-on collisions may have risen in 2013 for the same reason. It makes sense that when a driver is not watching the road, he or she can easily veer into oncoming traffic.
Impaired Drivers Increase Auto Fatalities
Driving while impaired is also an issue in the state of Pennsylvania. In 2010, there were 12,426 alcohol-related vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania. During that same year, there were 459 fatalities involving alcohol accounted for 35 percent of all traffic collision deaths. A full third of auto-related deaths among drivers between the age of 16 and 20 involved alcohol, and 50 percent of deaths among drivers between the age of 21 and 25 involved alcohol. Whether related to alcohol or distraction, it appears Pennsylvania drivers should take note of the increase in automobile accident fatalities. If you or a loved one have experienced severe injuries or death as a result of the negligence of another driver, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected.
Contact Our Experienced Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, the experienced Pennsylvania car accident lawyers at McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C., can help. Our team of lawyers consists of some of the best attorneys in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and we will fight aggressively for you throughout the legal process.
The car accident attorneys at McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C., have over 68 years of experience representing injured accident victims and their families across Philadelphia, Berks, Bucks, Dauphin, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Montgomery, and Northampton counties.
We are also proud to serve injured accident victims throughout the State of New Jersey. Contact us today at 215-568-1510 or fill out our confidential contact form to learn more about your legal options.