Seven people died in a single week in car accidents across central Florida at the beginning of September. One accident saw four pedestrians killed, while another involved a commercial truck driver being killed after a medical emergency. Yet another featured a rear-end collision.
By all accounts, fatal accidents are on the rise in central Florida. But it isn’t just a regional phenomenon — there is plenty of data to indicate that these crashes are increasing all across the United States.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was a dramatic increase in traffic fatalities nationwide in 2015. More than 35,000 people were killed in crashes last year, a 7 percent increase in deaths compared to 2014. It was a significant negative blip in what is now a five-decade trend of decreasing traffic fatalities across the country.
Traffic accidents in central Florida were up 12 percent this year in the first eight months over what they were in the same period in 2015. Crashes in the first part of 2015 were also up an additional 6 percent from 2014.
Why are there more accidents happening?
Whenever one sees statistics like these, the immediate question is, “Why?”
Experts say there are a number of factors. For one, drivers are more distracted today than ever before. The proliferation of smartphones has given people access to texting, talking, web browsing, cameras, GPS and social media, all from a single device they can use anytime, anywhere. Distracted drivers are one of the primary causes of fatal crashes.
Lower fuel prices have also increased the numbers of people out on the road, which could have an impact on fatalities as well. And, unemployment in Florida continues to fall, which means more people are commuting to work, putting more vehicles on our roads and highways.
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a Florida car accident, work with an experienced Bradenton personal injury attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.