RATES OF INJURIES AND FATALITIES DUE TO CAR ACCIDENTS ON RISE IN 2015

In contrast to the dip seen in recent years, the first half of 2015 has seen a stark rise in the number of serious injuries and fatalities on American roads. Every six months, the nonprofit National Safety Council releases statistics on the rates of injuries and deaths occurring as a result of motor vehicle accidents. For the first time in two years, the rates of fatal and serious injuries have increased rather than decreased, and total auto accident fatalities are on track to make 2015 the deadliest year on US roads since 2007. 

During the first six months of 2015, 18,630 individuals died as a result of a car or truck accident on US roads. This is a 14% increase from the same time period in 2014. The first half of 2015 was also witness to nearly 2.3 million serious injuries resulting from car accidents, with a "serious injury" defined as one that required a medical consultation. This is an increase of 30% from the number of injuries that occurred in the first six months of 2014. The total costs of these accidents, including the cost of medical expenses, lost work, lost productivity, and property damage, amounted to $152 billion. This is a 24% increase in total costs from accidents in the first half of 2014.

The National Safety Council attributes the increase in accidents in part to the decline in gas prices. With the cost of gas down 30% from the same period in 2014, there has been an increase of just over 3% in cumulative vehicle mileage nationwide. The cheaper it is to buy gas, the more people drive, and the more opportunities there are for car accidents. Another contributor is the uptick in employment numbers. There are more people on the road commuting to their jobs, who also have greater disposable income to spend on vacations, including more and longer road trips. Finally, cell phone use while driving continues to increase, despite the fact that doing so can increase the risk of an accident by eight times.

If you or a loved one have been hurt in a New Jersey car accident, contact the Morristown law firm of Smith & Doran for a free consultation on your potential car accident claim, at 973-292-0016.

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