As the second week of February begins, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will begin holding five regional meetings across the United States to discuss ideas and approaches on how to shrink the number of traffic fatalities in the country. The meetings will be held in Sacramento, Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Boston and Denver. In 2014, and nine out of the ten years before that, traffic deaths fell to 32,675.
The numbers made available by the NHSTA for the first half of 2015 are in stark contrast to the decline seen in 2014 and the last decade. If the figures for the second half of 2015 are in the same realm as the first half of last year, fatal car accidents throughout the U.S. would increase by eight percent. There were over 1,200 more traffic fatalities in the first half of 2015 than the first half of 2014.
These rates have troubled federal officials at both the NHSTA and the Federal Highway Administration (FHA). The country’s Transportation Secretary made clear that federal, state and local governments have a responsibility to make sure that roads are safe for motorists. In addition, the Secretary noted that law enforcement officials, vehicle manufacturers and drivers are equally responsible for maintaining safety on the country’s roadways.
The NHTSA administrator was quoted as saying that the escalation of traffic deaths is an “epidemic” and that it is the responsibility of the states to step up and halt the numbers. As of now, 24 states use cameras to catch speeding vehicles and drivers running red lights, 14 states prohibit drivers from using a hand-held cellphone while driving and 19 states make it mandatory for motorcyclists to wear helmets. It is estimated that 700 lives would be saved each year if all 50 states required motorcyclists to wear helmets.
The Governors Highway Safety Association has also been alarmed by the amount of traffic fatalities in the first half of 2015. The association recently released a report asking all back seat passengers to make sure they fasten their seatbelt. The association’s executive director said that the rise in car accident fatalities is due to an increased number of drivers on the road who drive while impaired, fail to buckle up or are speeding. The executive director of the association went on to say that while states are doing a better job at creating and sharpening educational and enforcement programs aimed to deter these behaviors, a lack of funding by federal, state and local legislatures impacts the health and availability of these programs. He finished by urging the United States Congress to finish highway funding legislation.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Represent Clients Injured in Motor Vehicle Accidents
If you, a loved one or someone you know has been injured in a car accident due to another person’s negligence, our knowledgeable team of Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates will work endlessly to get you the compensation you deserve. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia and Voorhees, New Jersey so that we can serve clients throughout the entire region. Call us at 215-567-6600 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.