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Alarming Increase in Traffic Fatalities in 2015

Last year was particularly deadly on U.S. roadways, according to a new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The agency recently reported that traffic deaths increased 9.3 percent during the first nine months of 2015.

In total, an estimated 26,000 people lost their lives in crashes during the time period. While figures for the whole year won’t be available until the spring, officials expect that the trend continued through the last three months of 2015.

The new statistics are particularly concerning given that traffic fatalities had been steadily decreasing over the past several years. From 2000 to 2014, deaths in motor vehicle accidents declined more than 22 percent. In fact, 2012 was the only other year to see an increase in fatalities and only by a 5.3 percent margin.

The latest NHTSA report also highlights that the majority of the fatal crashes were attributable to human error. Human factors, such as distracted driving, play a role in 94 percent of crashes according to decades of NHTSA research.

“We’re seeing red flags across the U.S. and we’re not waiting for the situation to develop further,” said Dr. Mark Rosekind, NHTSA Administrator. “It’s time to drive behavioral changes in traffic safety and that means taking on new initiatives and addressing persistent issues like drunk driving and failure to wear seat belts.”

Starting in California, NHTSA plans to conduct regional seminars to devise new methods to address human behavioral issues that contribute to fatal crashes. Topics on the agenda include drunk, drugged, distracted and drowsy driving; speeding; failure to use safety features such as seat belts and child seats; and new initiatives to protect vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

If you or someone you care about has suffered serious injury in a motor vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation. After a serious car crash, we can advocate on your behalf to help hold the negligent party accountable for their actions and seek the compensation you deserve.