From the The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) news release yesterday.
The 2012 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data indicating that highway deaths increased to 33,561 in 2012, which is 1,082 more fatalities than in 2011. The majority of the increase in deaths, 72 percent, occurred in the first quarter of the year. Most of those involved were motorcyclists and pedestrians.
While the newly released data announced today marks the first increase since 2005, highway deaths over the past five years continue to remain at historic lows. Fatalities in 2011 were at the lowest level since 1949 and even with this slight increase in 2012, we are still at the same level of fatalities as 1950. Early estimates on crash fatalities for the first half of 2013 indicate a decrease in deaths compared to the same timeframe in 2012.
While Americans drove approximately the same amount of miles in 2012 as in the previous year, the new FARS data released today showed a 3.3 percent increase in fatalities from the previous year. The final 2012 numbers confirm preliminary quarterly reports issued by the agency.
Other key 2012 statistics include:
- Fatalities among pedestrians increased for the third consecutive year (6.4 percent increase over 2011). The data showed the large majority of pedestrian deaths occurred in urban areas, at non-intersections, at night and many involved alcohol.
- Motorcycle rider fatalities increased for the third consecutive year (7.1 percent increase over 2011). Ten times as many riders died not wearing a helmet in states without a universal helmet law than in states with such laws.
- Large-truck occupant fatalities increased for the third consecutive year (8.9 percent over 2011).
- Deaths in crashes involving drunk drivers increased 4.6 percent in 2012, taking 10,322 lives compared to 9,865 in 2011. The majority of those crashes involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher – nearly double the legal limit.
- The number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes decreased slightly from 3,360 in 2011 to 3,328, while an estimated 421,000 people were injured, a 9 percent increase from the estimated 387,000 people injured in 2011. NHTSA is just beginning to identify distraction-related accidents, and is continuing work to improve the way it captures data to better quantify and identify potential trends in this area.
- Nighttime seat belt use continues to be a challenge. In nighttime crashes in 2012, almost two-thirds of the people that died were unrestrained.
Nighttime seatbelt use, motorcyclist and distracted driving are the biggest issues. Distracted driving accidents are up 9%.
If you or someone you love have been injured in a Missouri traffic accident or bike accident and the accident was not your fault, you may have a right to recover compensation for injury including pain and suffering, property damage, lost wages due to missed work and your medical bills. Victims of personal injury and the surviving family of wrongful death victims often have a difficult time choosing an attorney. Many personal injury firms handle a large volume of cases, treating clients as just one of many at The Krebs Law Firm L.L.C., we take a personal approach with our clients. Many people may be worried that they do not have the money to pay for a personal injury attorney when they were injured by a speeding driver but we only handle accident cases on a contingent fee basis. In other words, there is no fee unless we are successful in getting you the benefits that you deserve. If you would like to speak to Jason Krebs and his staff simply call (417) 883-5886 for your free case evaluation today.