As we have discussed on this blog, the number of traffic fatalities on the nation’s roads continues to rise.
In May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, a federal agency focused on traffic safety, released its estimate that, in 2021, 42,915 people died in traffic accidents.
This is a 10.5% increase over 2020’s number. It is also the highest number recorded since 2005.
Looking at a breakdown of these figures, it is somewhat easy to tell that bad driving habits are contributing to the rising numbers.
For example, the number of deaths related to speeding rose by 5%. Likewise, the number of deaths where police confirmed alcohol use was a factor in an accident, also rose by 5%.
Safe driving involves more than just following obvious laws
Of course, speeding and driving drunk are never acceptable. Nonetheless, Connecticut drivers have to do more to stay safe than just drive the speed limit and not drink and drive.
For example, analysis of NHTSA’s statistics suggests that motorists might not be careful around motorcycles and pedestrians. The number of fatalities among motorcyclists rose by 9%, while the number of pedestrian deaths increased by 13%.
Both motorcyclists and pedestrians are easy for motorists to overlook but highly vulnerable to severe injuries in a traffic crash. Other motorists need to keep a special eye out for them.
Many of 2021’s traffic fatalities involved large commercial trucks
According to NHTSA, the number of deaths from accidents involving at least one semi increased by 13% in 2021. Overall, NHTSA’s statistics do not break down who was legally responsible for a fatality.
Still, the statistic serves as a reminder of how serious truck crashes are given the size and weight of a fully loaded semi.
Truckers and the companies that pay them need to ensure that drivers are operating their vehicles safely as the foremost concern.
If they cut corners or utterly fail in this responsibility and cause a deadly accident, the victims’ families may be able to pursue compensation.