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by Jeff Rasansky -
Jeff Rasansky
Jeff Rasansky, managing partner of Rasansky Law Firm, is an aggressive Dallas personal injury lawyer with more than 25 years of legal experience.

While the number of distracted driving accidents went down in 2016, the total number of fatal crashes went up.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released USDOT accident data for 2016, showing a two-year spike in fatal traffic accidents that exceeds any swings the US has experienced in over 50 years.

NHTSA data revealed that at least 37,461 people died in car accidents on U.S. roads in 2016, a number which highlighted an increase of 5.6 percent when compared to 2015 figures. In addition, the rate of deaths per mile driven rose by 2.6 percent for the same period of time, with auto-pedestrian accidents accounting for a good portion of this increase.

At least 5,987 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents last year, which was a 9% rise over 2015’s numbers and the highest number of recorded pedestrian deaths since 1990.

Additionally, at least 5,286 motorcyclists also lost their lives in 2016; a 5.1% increase from 2015. There was also a 4.6% uptick in fatalities involving those not wearing seat belts, and there were more bicyclists killed in 2016 than any year since 1991.

On a positive note regarding these accident statistics, drowsy driving fatalities went down by 3.5%, and deaths from distracted driving saw a decline of 2.2% over last year’s numbers.

The biggest culprit? Driver error.

In its report, NHTSA said that it continues to promote vehicle technology which holds the potential to reduce the number of crashes (thus saving thousands of lives each year), and that these technologies have the potential to address the most-difficult factor of driving; driver error.

Fatal Car Accident Statistics

  1. Avatar

    So this was the mixed bag with rise in car and motor cycle accidents but death due to drowsy driving and distracted driving went down. With 2017 coming to an end, what are the results for this year?

    • Avatar

      So far, the NHTSA has only released an estimate of car accident fatalities for the first half of 2017 (Jan–Jun). An estimated 17,530 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the 1st half of 2017; a marginal decline of about 0.6 percent when compared to the 17,630 fatalities that occurred in the first half of 2016.

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