Countless individuals have had their lives changed forever following a car accident. And yet, speeding, impaired driving, and other hazardous behavior are still being done behind the wheel at the expense of others’ safety. To learn more about this epidemic sweeping across the country’s roadways, let’s review the rising traffic fatalities and what’s being done to stop them.
What the Statistics Tell Us
Even at the start of the year, it was clear that traffic fatalities had worsened to a point that hadn’t been seen by this country for decades. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 9,560 individuals were killed during traffic crashes — in only the first quarter of the year alone. Compared to the beginning of 2021, that’s a significant 7% increase. Not to mention, traffic deaths in the United States have also gone up by 10.5% overall between this year and the previous.
While the entire country has been impacted by the rise of traffic fatalities, New Jersey has, unfortunately, had it even worse. During the first quarter, the state suffered a startling 13.7% increase in deaths. The State Police have stated that by the 19th of August, there were a total of 440 statewide fatalities for drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists compared to the 389 deaths from the same time last year.
What’s Being Done?
Given the alarming numbers brought forth by these fatality statistics and the countless families who have lost loved ones, there are many people who have been trying to combat these rising numbers. Let’s take a look at some of the ways Americans have been trying to make the road a safer place:
The click-it-or-ticket program uses laws and education to help increase seatbelt use nationally and has succeeded in reaching 90% usage. Seat belts have been proven to significantly lower the risk of injury during accidents by keeping drivers and passengers in place who have otherwise been flung forward — into either the dashboard or car seat in front of them or through the windshield and onto the road. As you can imagine, this has helped save thousands of lives every year by simply buckling up.
To address crashes caused by alcohol impairment, a number of high-visibility enforcement efforts have been rolled out and tested around the United States. Through saturation patrols and publicized sobriety checkpoints, they were able to achieve a 58% decrease in crashes across all 90 study locations. Given how effective these measures were, it bodes well for their implementation in other locations.
Several legal changes have been made to address the rising traffic fatalities. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed in November of 2021 requires new cars to have impaired driving prevention technology installed by 2027. In addition, there have been numerous roadway engineering projects designed to alter human behavior and prevent crashes.
If you or a loved one has had the misfortune of suffering serious injuries in a car accident and aren’t sure where to turn for help, you can always count on the Law Offices of Vincent J. Ciecka. Our car accident lawyers in South Jersey and truck accident lawyers for NJ residents help individuals receive proper compensation following a traumatic encounter on the road. To learn more about our professional lawyers, reach out to Ciecka Law today for more information and a free consultation!