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NHTSA Report: Traffic Deaths Climb in 2015

Car Wreck with Smashed Hood and Ambulance

Traffic deaths are on the rise; according to a government report, 2015 saw roughly a 7.7% increase in traffic fatalities over 2014, with an estimated 35,200 traffic-related deaths for the year. The numbers come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) newly-released early estimate of 2015 motor vehicle traffic fatalities, the latest installation in its annual tracking of deadly roadway accidents.

The estimates are projections based on information from several sources including FARS (the Fatality Analysis Reporting System), FastFARS (which allows the NHTSA to receive nearly instantaneous reporting of traffic fatalities from the responding police departments), and Monthly Fatality Counts. These sources allow more instantaneous counting but they also provide less detailed information.

Later in the year, the numbers will be updated with more concrete counts based on reviews of actual police reports. The final data is expected to include information such as trends in contributing factors.

More deaths per mile

People are driving more. In 2015, the number of miles driven increased by 107.2 billion, which is roughly a 3.5% increase. The increase in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) does not, on its own, account for the rise in fatalities, though, because the number of deaths per 100 million VMT also rose from 1.08 to 1.12.

The increase is deaths per million VMT comes during the wake of a 5-quarter rise in fatalities that began in the fourth quarter of 2014. Before that, the numbers of traffic deaths had been falling since the fourth quarter of 2012.

Traffic deaths take emotional and financial toll

For each of the more than 35,000 traffic-related deaths each year, the tragic loss of the victim’s life is just the start of the story. They leave behind parents, children, spouses, and siblings who are heartbroken and also often left with financial hardships. Between funeral expenses, medical bills for final care, and lost income, the economic losses of a wrongful death can compound the emotional upheaval that a fatal accident causes.

The law recognizes the rights of personal injury victims to be made whole. But to do this, the victim or the loved ones that he or she leaves behind must be able to prove the fault of the other party – often this means proving that they drove carelessly or broke traffic laws, but in some cases it means proving that a manufacturer or supplier put defective products into the stream of commerce. A dedicated personal injury lawyer knows how to piece together the evidence to prove these kinds of cases.

New Jersey car accident attorneys

If you or a loved one have been injured in motor vehicle accident, you may have the right to recover against the at-fault parties. Compensation can include funeral and medical bills, payment for lost income, and emotional loss such as pain and suffering. Speak with a New Jersey personal injury attorney to learn more about your rights.

Eisbrouch Marsh have been fighting for the rights of injury victims for more than 25 years. For a free consultation, call 201-342-554.

U.S. Department of Transportation, Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2015, https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812269