Pennsylvania residents may be aware that traffic accident fatality rates have been falling in recent years. Experts often credit improvements in road safety to modern vehicle safety technology and aggressive public information campaigns designed to highlight the dangers of behavior like drunk or distracted driving. Road accident deaths fell by 1.2 percent in 2014 and plummeted by almost a quarter between 2000 and 2014, but accident data indicates that fatality rates rose sharply during the first nine months of 2015.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 26,000 people died on the nation’s roads in the first nine months of 2015. This represents an increase of over 9 percent compared to the same period in 2014 when 23,796 road users were killed in car accidents. The NHTSA data also revealed that the increase in the number of road deaths varied greatly in different parts of the country.
While accident fatality rates in the Mid-Atlantic and South Central states only increased by about 2 percent during the first nine months of 2015, road deaths in the Northwest and Southeast surged by 16 and 20 percent respectively. A NHTSA representative pointed out that the overwhelming majority of fatal traffic accidents involve human error and the figures prove that the safety agency still has much work to do.
Car accidents can change lives in a matter of moments, but determining the exact sequence of events and establishing liability can be significant challenges for injured victims who seeking civil remedies. When police reports are incomplete or witness statements are unclear or contradictory, personal injury attorneys may make inquiries of their own. In addition to having the vehicles involved inspected to rule out mechanical failure, attorneys may canvass the accident area for witnesses that may not have spoken to the police and security cameras that could have captured the accident on film.