Fatal accident statistics for 2017 nearly the same as 2016

Missourians should keep track of the statistics for fatal auto accidents to have an idea as to how to remain safe when on the road. The number of fatal crashes can be a useful tool to determine what the risks are and to take steps to avoid them. For those who are unfortunate enough to suffer the loss of a loved one in a fatal accident on the road, the numbers can also be useful when considering seeking compensation in a legal filing. The latest statistics for fatal accidents from the National Safety Council might, on the surface, show a minimal level of improvement, but the reality is more nuanced than that.

According to the NSC, the number of fatalities on the road declined in 2017 when compared to 2016, but they were still significantly higher than they were in 2015. For the second consecutive year, road fatalities surpassed 40,000. These numbers are not federal statistics. Those will be issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. The difference between NSC analysis and NHTSA analysis is that the NSC counts accidents that occur on private property while the NHTSA does not.

Automakers have taken steps to improve safety in newly manufactured vehicles with airbags and technology to avoid crashes. However, distracted driving, speeding and human error are believed to have led to the rising and stagnant death toll. The NSC approximates that there were 40,100 fatalities on the road in 2017. That is a reduction of 1 percent from 2016, but a rise of 6 percent from 2015. Despite attempts on the part of manufacturers to reduce the distractions and dangers that drivers face, the number of accidents has risen and maintained a troublesome level in the past several years.

People who lose a loved one in a fatal accident on the road must be aware of the potential causes, as this can be an integral factor in seeking compensation. The emotional and financial problems that inevitably accompany a fatal accident can be overwhelming. Given the statistics of fatal accidents, it is imperative that those who have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident – regardless of whether it is on a public road or private property – be cognizant of the steps to take to file a lawsuit. A legal professional experienced in helping clients with wrongful death cases can provide advice from the start.

Source: USA Today, “U.S. vehicle deaths topped 40,000 in 2017, National Safety Council estimates,” Nathan Bomey, Feb. 15, 2018