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It’s sad to say, but 2015 is shaping up to be the deadliest year for automobile accidents since 2007. This fact was recently revealed by the National Safety Council (NSC), a nationwide nonprofit aimed at reducing injuries and deaths caused by distracted driving, teen driving and other preventable causes of crashes on our nation’s roads. In its comparison of car accidents in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, the Council uncovered a 30% increase in personal injury and a 14% increase in fatalities from last year to this year. The economic costs of these crashes – in terms of medical care, lost wages, property damage and other measures – amounted to $153 billion, a 24% increase between the two time periods.
Although the NSC did not definitively explain the reason for this increase, it did point to the economy as a likely culprit. Gas prices have dropped significantly this year, encouraging more people to drive more often and take more and longer trips. Additionally, the employment rate has improved this year compared to last year, meaning there are more people going to and from work everyday, as well as having the money to take weekend trips. An improved economy means more cars on the road throughout the week, which unfortunately means more traffic accidents.
Distracted driving continues to be a major problem associated with serious crashes. Even though laws are getting tougher and people are becoming more aware of the dangers of distracted driving, the electronic devices which demand our attention are becoming ever more an integral part of our daily lives. This not only includes texting while driving or checking in on social media, but also driving apps such as traffic monitoring, maps and GPS, which despite their good intentions take our eyes off the road and increase the likelihood we will cause an accident when we aren’t paying attention like we should.
Knowing that serious and deadly car accidents are on the rise may help you to be a more cautious, aware and defensive driver, but you cannot control the behavior of the millions of other drivers zooming recklessly around Los Angeles. If you have been injured in a car accident in southern California, call Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy at 888-707-3053 for a free consultation with an experienced and dedicated automobile accident attorney