The headlines might be a little bit misleading. Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are reporting the total number of car accident fatalities have declined to the lowest point since 2005. What they are not trumpeting is that the number of people that were killed in pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle accidents is actually on the rise.
"Even as we celebrate the progress we've made in recent years, we must remain focused on addressing the safety issues that are continuing to claim more than 30,000 lives each year," said David Strickland, Administrator with the NHTSA.
Our Costa Mesa car accident lawyers understand that the state of California takes the lead in most categories for the most roadway fatalities recorded in the nation. All while the NHTSA is bragging about falling numbers, we're actually seeing increases. As a matter of fact, we saw an increase of nearly 3 percent in our total number of traffic accident fatalities from 2010 to 2011. According to the most recent statistics from the 2011 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview, we saw more than 2,790 traffic accident fatalities during the year. That's more than any other state in the U.S.
In addition to these roadway fatalities nationwide, Americans also witnessed close to 400,000 injuries. There were 36 states that were fortunate enough to see a decline in the number of accidents. California was not one of them. We continue to lead the country with the most traffic fatalities recorded every year.
Key Findings in the 2011 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview:
-The total number of vehicle miles traveled in 2011 declined from the 2010 total.
-The number of motorcyclist fatalities increased by more than 90 deaths.
-The number of distracted driving accidents increased by about 2 percent, taking the lives of nearly 2 percent more in 2011.
-The number of pedestrian fatalities increased by close to 150 fatalities.
-The number of bicyclist fatalities increased by more than 50 fatalities.
The problem that we have in many areas of California is that our roadways are not constructed for our more vulnerable travelers -- bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists. They're solely designed to get motor vehicle traffic through and to get it through quickly. Crosswalks, sidewalks and traffic control devices have been proven effective in helping to preserve the safety of these more vulnerable travelers.
Much of the state of California is blessed with beautiful weather year round. This is what allows these vulnerable travelers to spend more time along our roadways. When more of this traffic is present, the risks for accidents are high.
Until we get more accommodating roadways, we're asking drivers to be on their best behavior. We're asking them to keep an eye out for these two-wheeled and two-footed travelers. They have rights to our roadways too, let's respect that.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident, contact HOWARD LAW P.C. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call (800) 872-5925.
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