Our roads are getting more and more dangerous and we're seeing some alarming spikes in the number of accident fatalities. According to CNN, the number of accident fatalities for the first quarter of 2012 is actually up nearly 15 percent from the first quarter numbers of 2011.
During this time in 2012, there were already more than 7,600 reported fatalities. The 2011 numbers reported about 1,000 fewer fatalities during the same time period.
The recent increase follows a downward trend in accidents. Officials aren't only worried because we broke this trend, but also because the first quarter numbers are usually the lowest for the year, meaning we can only expect more fatalities as the year progresses.
Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers understand that many officials blame the unseasonably warm weather for these increases. When the weather is warm, drivers are more likely to hit the road. That's a large factor in why states with warmer areas, like California, typically see more roadway fatalities than other states. We're asking all drivers to make driving safety a priority. Safer roadways is a joint effort. We need help from all motorists to help to turn these numbers around.
"The warmer-than-average winter weather may have contributed to higher vehicle miles traveled, and ultimately more fatal crashes," said Jacob Nelson, director of research and traffic safety advocacy with the Automobile Association of America.
Safe driving advocates say that much more needs to be done. More needs to be done to get drivers to hang up their cell phones behind the wheel, to pay attention to speed limits and to avoid drinking and driving. It's all about promoting a culture of safety among all drivers.
These recent stats show the second largest year-to-year increase that we've seen since modern recordkeeping began back in 1975.
With the warmer weather, drivers get out more. According to the Federal Highway administration, the 2012 number of vehicle miles traveled increase by nearly 1.5 percent, or more than 9 billion miles.
In just 2010, officials reported a 60-year-low for recorded car accident fatalities. It's disheartening that we've taken such a drastic turn for the worst, officials say. The number of traffic accident fatalities has dropped every year since 2006, until this year.
Drivers are asked to be safe out there. Defensive driving habits may be your only defense against a potentially fatal accident. Consider traffic and weather conditions. Check them before you go and always allow yourself with enough time to deal with delays. It's important to be calm behind the wheel and avoid aggressive tendencies, too. Be safe and cautious out there to help you and your passengers to arrive alive.
If your or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact HOWARD LAW P.C. to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call (800) 872-5925.
U.S. traffic fatalities soar 13.5 percent in first quarter of 2012, by Jim Barnett, CNN
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