Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for 2017 confirm that more than 37,133 people were killed in traffic accidents in 2017. The number of deaths is a slight decrease from 2016 when 37,461 people died in vehicle crashes.
The leading causes of traffic deaths include the following:
- Drunk driving. Drunk and drugged drivers can easily lose control of their vehicle. Many intoxicated drivers veer into opposing lanes, run traffic signals, and speed. Other drivers are likely to crash with a drunk driver because it’s impossible to anticipate what path a drunk driver will take.
- Distracted driving. Drivers who text while driving are especially likely to cause a car or truck crash. Driver distraction incudes anything that takes the driver’s eyes off traffic, their hands off the steering wheel, and their mind away from promptly responding to emergencies. In addition to texting; distracted driving includes drinking or eating while driving, talking on a cellphone, watching a video, looking at passengers, and viewing a GPS system.
- Drowsy driving. Drivers who don’t get enough sleep should stay off the road until they are rested. Truck drivers are required by federal law to get out of their truck if they work too many hours in a day or in a week. Tired drivers can fall asleep and never see the road, other cars, bicyclists, or pedestrians.
- Exceeding the speed limit. Speeding continues to be one of the top causes of fatal car crashes. There is simply no safe way to speed AND drive a car safely.
- Not using a seat belt. The NHTSA data shows that drivers who don’t wear their seatbelts account for almost as many deaths as drunk drivers.
Other reasons fatal accidents happen include:
- Not obeying local traffic laws such as running through a red light or a stop sign
- Failing to stop completely when turning right at an intersection
- Not being prepared to drive in poor weather
- Driving too closely to a car in front
- Not merging correctly
- Passing improperly
- Taking a curve too quickly
Fatalities to people with little physical protection
There were more than 5,000 motorcycle fatalities each year in 2016 and in 2017. Motorcycle riders and passengers simply don’t have the physical protection of a vehicle’s frame, airbags, or even safety restraints. When motorcycle crashes happen, the riders are likely to strike the hard asphalt of the road.
Bicycle riders and pedestrian are also likely to be killed if a car strikes them. In 2017, almost 6,000 pedestrians were killed in vehicle accidents, and 753 cyclists died in collisions with cars and trucks in 2017.
At Delius & McKenzie, PLLC, our experienced Sevierville car accident lawyers move quickly when a client calls us for help. We work aggressively to determine the cause of the accident and to hold responsible drivers and vehicle owners responsible. For help claiming compensation for pain and suffering, lost income, and medical expenses; please call us at (865) 428-8780 or complete our contact form. We represent injury victims and the families of anyone who was wrongfully killed in Sevierville, Seymour, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the surrounding Tennessee areas.