Despite advances in motor vehicle safety and advocacy, motor vehicle deaths are on the rise again.
The National Safety Council estimates that about 40,000 people died on the road in motor vehicle crashes in 2016. This is a 6% increase from 2015 and a 14% increase from 2014. The 2-year increase in motor vehicle deaths is the biggest in 53 years.
Why are motor vehicle deaths increasing?
Several factors may be to blame for the increase in motor vehicle deaths.
First, Americans are driving more often due to lower gas prices and an improving economy. More miles on the road creates more chances for an accident. But even with the added miles, there’s an increase in the number of accidents per million miles driven on the road.
Distracted driving may be another reason motor vehicle deaths are on the rise. Talking on the phone is no longer the only worry when it comes to handheld devices while driving. Texting and smartphone apps are an increasing distraction for many drivers.
In fact, 47% of drivers admitted to being comfortable texting behind the wheel, either manually or through voice controls, according to a recent survey by the National Safety Council.
Speeding, driving under the influence and not wearing a seatbelt remain the other main contributors to motor vehicle deaths. In about half of all motor vehicle fatalities, the person who died wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. Almost one-third of motor vehicle accidents involve drugs or alcohol.
Motor vehicle deaths in Tennessee
In the state of Tennessee, an estimated 1,042 people died from motor vehicle accidents in 2016. This was an 8% increase from 2015 and a two-year increase of 16%.
Have you been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident? Was a loved one tragically killed? Get the justice you deserve. Contact Gilreath & Associates today for your free consultation.