U.S. Department Of Transportation Figures Show 12 Percent Rise In Auto Accident Fatalities In 2021
While plane crashes tend to draw a great deal of media and public attention, air travel has long been among the safest modes of transportation. Fatal airplane accidents are actually quite rare, statistically speaking. Indeed, you are far more likely to die in an accident involving a car or truck than in any either form of transportation.
To put things in perspective, the U.S. Department of Transportation recently said that “[a]lmost 95 percent of the Nation’s transportation deaths occur on its streets, roads, and highways.” And while you might think that accidents are becoming less common as vehicle technology advances, that is sadly not the case. The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released estimates for the first nine months of 2021 that found motor vehicle fatalities actually rose 12 percent over the comparable period from 2020.
Specifically, the NHTSA said there were an estimated 31,720 deaths involving motor vehicle accidents between January and September 2021. This was the highest nine-month projection on record dating back to 2006–as well as the “highest percentage increase during the first nine months” in the history of the NHTSA’s reporting system.
Here in Florida, the NHTSA estimated there were 2,839 auto accident deaths during the first 9 months of 2021, which represents a 17.5 percent increase over the comparable period of 2020. In raw numbers, this also meant that Florida was the third-deadliest state with respect to auto accidents, trailing only Texas and California.
In response to these rising fatality figures, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced the Biden administration would launch a new National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS). The NRSS will focus on “five complementary objectives” designed to reduce accident fatalities, including promoting safer roadway designs and providing “expedient access to medical care” following a crash.
Seeking Justice on Behalf of a Deceased Family Member
Unfortunately, even the best policies cannot prevent all fatal or serious auto accidents. So long as humans continue to operate motor vehicles, there will always be some humans who will do so negligently and recklessly. And when that happens, the victims and their families have the right to seek compensation through the legal system.
Obviously, a personal injury lawsuit can never return a loved one lost to a fatal accident. But the negligent party can be made to pay damages as a small measure of compensation for the family’s financial and emotional losses. A lawsuit also helps send a message that reckless and negligent behavior on the public roadways will not be tolerated.
So if you have recently lost a family member in a car or truck accident and need legal guidance on what steps to take next, contact the Pompano Beach wrongful death attorneys at Leifer & Ramirez today. We offer free initial consultations to potential clients in the Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach communities. So call us today if you would like to speak with a member of our personal injury team.