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Randy Appleton
Randy Appleton
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Car Accident Deaths Climb Despite Enhanced Safety Features

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Although there is more advanced safety equipment in cars, trucks and SUVs than ever before, accident deaths continue to rise, according to the National Safety Council.


That organization stated in August that crash death rates have been rising since 2014, with the largest increases occurring in Florida, where there was a 43% increase in deaths since 2014. Also high on the list were:

  • GA
  • IN
  • CA
  • NC
  • IL
  • KY

Since January 2016, approximately 19,100 people have died on US roads, and 2.2 million were seriously hurt.

However, according to Kelley Blue Book Managing Editor Matt DeLorenzo, the number of miles driven have risen as well, so that will drive up the total number of deaths.

Still, one would hope that with all of the new safety technology on vehicles – anti lock brakes, airbags, blind spot warning indicators – that the number of deaths would be decreasing.

One factor, DeLorenzo believes, is one of the oldest and most difficult causes of crashes to stop: If people are not paying attention to their driving, no amount of safety equipment makes a difference. A decade ago, people were not using smartphones nearly as much while driving, so it could be that the level of distracted driving accidents is accounting for some of the higher death rate.

Our View

It is likely in our view that the reasons for a climbing auto crash fatality rate are many. However, we also think that there is a higher incidence of distracted driving now than in prior decades. Smartphones are essentially very mobile and portable computers with the opportunity for 24/7 distraction for users. While we enjoy our smartphones, there is absolutely no room for operating one while driving. Distracted driving is deadly driving. Our car accident attorneys in Virginia have represented too many accident victims and grieving families due to distracted driving.

Hopefully, state and local governments will continue to punish distracted driving aggressively and reduce the number of needless deaths on our roads.