NEW YORK – You can blame the improving economy for the spike in nationwide traffic deaths this year, a government traffic study said.
The study noted traffic volume has been steadily increasing and it’s tied to significant improvements in the economy. The downside is that it’s causing more wrecks, a Manhattan car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says.
“When the economy is doing well, more people have jobs and most choose to commute in Manhatta,” car accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “An uptick in traffic usually means longer commutes and a higher risk of getting in an accident.”
Since 1996, deadly car crashes have been steadily decreasing but researchers expect to see a significant spike in 2015, possibly reaching 40,000 deaths – a number that hasn’t been reached in nearly a decade.
From January to June, about 19,000 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents – a 14 percent increase over the first six months of 2014. The National Safety Council says more than 2-million “serious injuries” were recorded over the same period – a 30 percent increase over 2014.
What’s also trending in the direction: medical costs, productivity costs and property damage. The NSC expects about a 25 percent increase, costing Americans over $150 billion this year.
“Rising medical costs make it very difficult to get the treatment patients need to recovery from their injuries,” Barnes said. “It’s heartbreaking to see these numbers trending in the wrong direction and that’s why we recommend calling one of our legal professionals to make sure you’re getting every penny you deserve.”
Dangerous and deadly crashes are happening more frequently but governments and safety advocates around the country are aiming to do something about it.
The government traffic study described itself as a “framework to guide regional safety activities” and it set goals to reduce fatalities by 5 percent and serious injuries by 10 percent.
The study also set four areas of emphasis – lane mergers, pedestrians, intersections, and young drivers.
Researchers noted that 27 percent of all fatalities occurred at an intersection.
A quarter of the fatalities studied involved pedestrians.
With improvements to road infrastructure and design, the study aims to reverse the deadly trend of traffic collisions and improve safety around the nation – a plan researchers and attorneys hope can persevere in both bull and bear markets.