According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the number of pedestrian, motorcycle and bicyclist fatalities were up in 2011. That's not the message they're focusing on though. They're looking at how the total number of accidents has declined slightly.
Their headlines may be deceiving, but we're here with the truth. California was not one of the state lucky enough to see a decline.
Our Costa Mesa car accident attorneys understand that the number of traffic fatalities dipped about 2 percent in 2011. Still in 2011, there were roughly 32,360 people killed in traffic accidents across the country. In addition, there were close to 400,000 people injured in traffic accidents throughout the year. The number of fatalities involving cyclists, pedestrians and motorcycle riders is also on the rise.
Officials believe that this shift in fatalities may have had much to do with the economy and the prices at the pump. With less funds for vacations and higher gas prices, Americans were traveling less. When there's less travel there are fewer risks for accidents. It's not rocket science.
Still, officials are placing a lot of the credit on their safety campaigns, saying that they're the reason for the decrease. Whichever it may be, the truth of the matter is that these risks are sure to increase as Americans start traveling more again.
Here's what officials had to say about it:
"The latest numbers show how the tireless work of our safety agencies and partners, coupled with significant advances in technology and continued public education, can really make a difference on our roadways," said DOT Secretary Ray LaHood.
The state of California wasn't so lucky. We didn't see a decrease in the number of traffic accident fatalities during this time. We actually saw a near 3 percent increase. In 2011, we say more than 2,790 fatalities along our roadways, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Key Findings in the 2011 Motor Vehicle Crashes Overview:
-The number of fatalities among light truck and passenger car occupants dipped more than 4.5 percent.
-The number of fatal car accidents involving drunk driver dropped close to 3 percent. Still, there were close to 10,000 people killed in these kinds of crashes.
-Deaths among large truck occupants rose about 20 percent.
-The number of bicyclists killed increased by close to 9 percent.
-The number of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents rose by 3 percent.
-The number of motorcycle riders killed rose by more than 2 percent.
-Fatal distracted driving car accidents increase by nearly 2 percent.
We're asking drivers and other travelers to keep a heads up out there. Nothing is going to help to make our streets safer than more attentive driving habits. As we head into the New Year, make a pledge to be a better and safer driver. It's a move that could wind up saving your life.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact HOWARD LAW P.C. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call (800) 872-5925.
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