Kentucky readers may be concerned to learn that US traffic deaths exceeded 40,000 for the third straight year in 2018, according to the National Safety Council. In addition, approximately 4.5 million people sustained serious injuries in car accidents last year.
While the percentage of traffic deaths actually fell by 1 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, safety experts are concerned that fatalities have been hovering around 40,000 for the last three years. In comparison, U.S. car crash deaths were 14 percent lower in 2014. According to researchers, there are several potential reasons behind the increase in deaths. One of the major reasons is the growing use of smartphones and other technologies that distract drivers while behind the wheel. On the flip side, technology is also making vehicles safer. For example, automatic emergency braking systems have been proven to reduce rear-end collisions and other types of accidents. As this technology is made standard in more vehicles, experts say traffic deaths will start to decline.
The NSC reports that the states with the highest percentage increases in traffic deaths in 2018 included Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Hawaii, Florida and Nevada. However, Maine, New Jersey, Kansas, Rhode Island and Wyoming and all experienced significant declines.
Distracted driving, speeding and driving while intoxicated are common causes of serious car accidents. Luckily, negligent drivers who cause such accidents can be held legally accountable in civil court. With the help of an attorney, an injured victim can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver and negotiate a settlement that covers medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, property loss, pain and suffering and other accident-related damages. Victims can file a claim even if they are partially responsible for the collision.