After several years with decreasing numbers of motor vehicle accident deaths, it appears that fatal driving accidents in Missouri and across the country increased significantly in 2015.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released a summary of U.S. motor vehicle traffic deaths for January through September 2015. The federal agency estimates that 26,000 people died in car and trucking accidents in those nine months – a jump of about 9 percent, or 2,000 more people compared to the same period the year prior.
Deaths in Missouri Motor Vehicle Accidents up 8 Percent
Motor vehicle crash fatalities were up 8 percent in Missouri and four other neighboring states in 2015, according to NHTSA’s nine-month reporting.
So what can explain the increase in motor vehicle accident deaths?
One possible explanation could be the cheaper gas we all experienced in 2015. Cheaper gas perhaps drove more people to the road last year, as total “vehicle miles traveled” were higher in each of the first three quarters of 2015 compared to 2014, according to the NHTSA summary.
Driver error – such as speeding or missing a stop sign – is a leading cause of fatal motor vehicle accidents. Having more drivers on the road overall simply increases the odds that there will be more drivers making deadly mistakes.
Proposed Missouri Law Targets Texting and Driving
And people today are more dependent upon their cell phones, which can lead to serious crashes. The Missouri legislature for the third time is considering expanding its prohibition on texting and driving. Currently, drivers 21 and younger cannot text on their cell phone while behind the wheel. The latest proposal by Missouri lawmakers extends that ban to all Missouri drivers, regardless of age. (All commercial drivers in Missouri are prohibited from using a hand-held mobile phone.)
Drivers who are negligent and cause accidents should be held accountable. If you lost a loved one or if you were seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver, you may want to consult an attorney who represents victims of catastrophic motor vehicle crashes to pursue just compensation on your behalf.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.