According to latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2011, overall traffic accident fatalities dropped to their lowest level since 1949. However, bicycle accident fatalities and trucking accident fatalities bucked that trend, recording increases in contrast.
Indiana recorded a slight decrease in traffic accident fatalities with 750 fatalities in 2011, down from 754 the previous year.
Overall, last year, 32,367 people were killed in traffic accidents in the United States. That was a drop of 1.9% from the previous year, and also constituted the lowest drop on record since 1949. An additional 2.2 million people were injured in traffic accidents across the country in 2011. That was also a decline from the previous year.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also recorded a drop in the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, which dropped to record lows of 1.10 last year.
There was more good news on the road safety front in 2011. There was a drop in the number of fatalities linked to alcohol-related car accidents. These dropped by 2.5% in 2011.
However, drunk driving accident fatalities still constituted a major chunk of fatalities last year, constituting approximately 31% of all fatalities in 2011. This proves to Indiana personal injury lawyers that alcohol-related car accidents continue to remain a major killer on our roads. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that intoxicated driving is one of the top 3 biggest threats on our roads, with all the attention that is currently being forced on distracted driving.
This brings us to the fatality toll from distracted driving, which was also up last year. Fatalities in accidents involving distracted drivers increased to 3,331 fatalities in 2011. Other categories of drivers also found the roads safer last year. For instance, there was a 4.6% drop in the number of fatalities involving young drivers, as well as fatalities involving females.
However, the 3 categories with the most alarming statistics were bicycle accidents, truck accidents and motorcycle accidents. There was an increase of 8.7% in bicycle accident fatalities and an increase of 20% in large truck occupant fatalities last year. Motorcycle accident deaths increased by over 2%.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not yet begun an investigation into the causes for these increases. The increase in bicycle accident fatalities is being blamed on an increasing number of bicyclists on our roads. Increased trucking activities are being blamed for the rise in truck occupant fatalities.
It’s also worth investigating how much the lack of sufficient biking infrastructure in many metropolitan American cities is to blame for the increase in bike accident fatalities. The growing bicyclist population has not necessarily meant an enhancement of the existing infrastructure or construction of new infrastructure to support these bicyclist numbers. Naturally, that has meant higher accident and fatality risks for bicyclists.
The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy LLP represent persons injured in automobile accidents across Indiana. If you have been injured in an auto accident, speak with an attorney at our firm to learn your rights.