First Quarter 2014 Vehicle Fatality Estimates Released

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation — recently released statistical projections of traffic fatalities for the first quarter of this year. While the numbers are high, there are signs of some positive trends.

Early estimates for the first quarter of 2014:

After reaching all-time highs in 2005, 2006, and 2007, a downward trend in traffic fatalities continued into 2014. All fatalities are admittedly sobering and deserve to be mourned, but the downward trend is a positive development and suggests traffic safety may be headed in the right direction.

Our current focus should be on pushing the numbers further down in the coming months. While this report consists of just an estimate, the NHTSA’s data is usually fairly accurate.

Some of the most prominent figures and comments from the NHTSA report included:

  • New three-year low. One positive trend in first-quarter estimates for 2014 (January-March) is that they are the lowest they’ve been since 2011. In 2012 and 2013, estimated fatalities across the United States were 7,504 and 7,150, respectively. The estimate for this year is 6,800 fatalities in the first quarter. This number represents a -4.9% reduction from the same period in 2013.
  • Less overall driving. Another interesting statistic is total vehicle miles traveled in the US – which is down considerably. According to Federal Highway Administration reports, there were 4.2 billion fewer miles driven over the first three months of this year. This is definitely a step in the right direction for environmentalists working to encourage carpooling and alternative forms of transportation.
  • Sub-1.00 rate. The NHTSA also released statistical projections for the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles of travel. According to their numbers, the rate for the first quarter of 2014 was 0.99. This represents the first time since January-March of 2011 in which the rate has dipped below 1.00. The average for all of 2013 was 1.11.

Recent trends in motor vehicle collisions:

According to other reports and statistical data, motor vehicle collisions are commonly caused by the following:

  • Distracted driving. By far, the number-one cause of motor vehicle collisions is distracted driving. This may include texting, talking on the phone, changing the radio station, setting a GPS, looking at billboards, eating, and any other activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road.
  • Speeding. Speeding is highly dangerous, but it remains a common practice on roadways. The U.S. Department of Transportation claims speeding contributes to nearly one-third of all motor vehicle collisions nationwide.
  • Driving under the influence. Drunk driving doesn’t get a bad rap for nothing. An estimated 300,000 drivers drive under the influence each day and a substantial portion of these cause dangerous motor vehicle collisions.

Legal representation for car accidents:

While the number of motor vehicle fatalities is falling, the number of people seeking legal representation is on the rise. Lawyers everywhere are staying busy, working to help those affected by death and injury to secure compensation for what they’ve lost.

While each situation is different, lawyers urge victims to seek immediate medical and legal assistance after an injury. Some of the common injuries associated with car accidents include broken bones, brain injuries, scarring, paralysis, disfigurement, burns, emotional trauma, and death.

One of the few ways to encourage the statistics to drop even lower than they have is to make people respect the importance of safe driving. Thanks to victims and attorneys everywhere, more drivers understand the true weight of the situation.

For more information on driver safety and up-to-date statistics on motor vehicle collisions, you can visit the NHTSA’s official website. New research, statistics and news are published on a regular basis.