During the course of 2015 and much of 2016, we have seen an increase of lawsuit cases in relation to vehicles involving the death of a person. In these lawsuits, a vehicle was involved in the death of a person including passengers, drivers, motorcyclists and pedestrians. A report published recently shows and corroborates with concrete numbers the size and seriousness of the situation of road safety in the country.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA,) published on August 29th its annual report with the results of all information related to 2015 and according to this report there were a total of 35.092 fatalities, which is a 7.2% increase, 4.1% happened with a heavy commercial vehicle. This means that 4,067 people lost their lives because of an accident involving heavy commercial vehicles.
These high numbers are alarming because during 2015, 6.3 million accidents were reported nationwide, causing injuries to 2.44 million people. The increase in fatalities occurs in all segments of the transport sector, including occupants of passenger and commercial vehicles, motorcyclists and pedestrians, as well as fatalities caused by drunk drivers. Other contributing factors to the increase are the low fuel prices that generate an increase of drivers on the roads, contributing to an increase in traffic accidents.
In reaction to this dramatic increase in fatalities, the White House, in collaboration with NHTSA and DOT, made a “call to action” to the transportation sector to determine the reasons for this increase. The Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, said “Solving this problem will take teamwork, so we’re issuing a call to action and asking researchers, safety experts, data scientists, and the public to analyze this fatal data and help find ways to prevent these tragedies.”