The holidays are right around the corner and our risks for car accidents in Birmingham have skyrocketed. From 2009 to 2010, Alabama actually saw an increase in the number of fatalities resulting from traffic accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) just put out the new 2010 Motor Vehicle Crashes Overview. These are the full stats regarding traffic accidents that occurred throughout the year. They’re also the most recent traffic statistics available.
The overall report says that there was a decrease in the total number of traffic accidents fatalities from 2009 to 2010 throughout the country. The report also says that we experienced the fewest fatalities on U.S. roadways since 1949. While this news may be good, there is some bad that comes with it. While the total number decreased, a few categories of fatal accidents saw a significant increase, including fatalities among large truck occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. And the overall number of fatal traffic accidents increased in 20 states as the economy continues to recover.
Our Birmingham car accident lawyers note that while the numbers were relatively low throughout the year, they started to increase as the year progressed. This leads officials to believe the risks for car accidents will rise as our economy recovers because travelers will feel more comfortable splurging on road trips. Despite the decreased number, motorists are asked to remain cautious and alert at the wheel.
The NHTSA is also using more measures to track the different types of accidents. “Distraction-affected crashes” and “alcohol-related crashes” were both recently introduced to track the most common types of traffic accidents. Drivers continue to engage in dangerous behaviors behind the wheel and endanger everyone on our roadways.
“We need to maintain our focus on this issue through education, laws, enforcement, and vehicle design to help keep drivers’ attention on the road,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.
Key Findings of the Newly-Released Report:
-Less than 33,000 people died in traffic accidents throughout the year.
-Another 2.24 million people were injured in car accidents throughout 2010.
-The year reports the lowest recording of fatalities since 1949.
-Alcohol-related traffic accidents still accounted for about a third of all fatalities despite the increase in preventative measures among national, state and local.
-The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled only decreased by 0.05 percent.
-The number of fatalities among van and large truck occupants increased from the year before.
-The number of fatalities among single-vehicle accidents increased by nearly 5 percent.
-Fatalities from car accidents in rural areas decreased, while the number of fatalities from car accidents in urban areas increased by nearly 5 percent.
-The number of people who were killed in daytime accidents who were wearing a seat belt increased.
-Thirty-one states in the U.S. experienced increases in the number of traffic fatalities.
-Fatalities among motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists increased significantly.
-The number of fatalities increased by nearly 2 percent in Alabama.
There have been a number of safe driving campaigns and enforcement efforts to keep our roads safe. Some of these efforts have been effective, while others have not. Drivers are asked to navigate our roadways responsibly and to voluntarily make safe driving habits a top priority. With a conscious effort from everyone, we can help to reduce the fatality and injury statistics in every category.
Our state experienced just about 850 traffic-accident fatalities in 2009. We witnessed more than 860 in 2010. This proves that motorists on our roadways need to be a little more cautious at the wheel, especially during the holiday season when traffic increases.
Birmingham Car Accidents: Holiday a Good Time to Discuss Safe Driving with Elderly Family Members, Alabama Injury Attorney Blog, November 28, 2011
Earlier Sun Set and Greater Risks for Car Accidents in Tuscaloosa, Alabama Injury Attorney Blog, November 15, 2011