According to car crash data for 2015, the fatality rate was the highest it’s been in half a century. As a result, even the Obama Administration has issued a “call to action” to attempt to cut down on motor vehicle-related deaths.
Compared to 2014, the number of automobile fatalities rose 7.2 percent, the biggest rise in the past 50 years. Consider how the personal motor vehicle has been around since 1886, and cars had been used in races shortly afterward, but it wasn’t until after the introduction of televised media that it became mainstream to push how fast they travel. Thanks to film icons like Steve McQueen (Bullitt), the world of auto racing grew in popularity.
The year 2015 was also interesting for auto-related deaths in the headlines. Caitlyn Jenner had hit and killed someone in a car crash around the same time she had transitioned from being a male Olympian named Bruce.
While Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin hadn’t actually been in a vehicle, he had also been taken in an auto-related accident.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 29, 2016
The Department of Transportation has stated their dismay at the fact that after years of steady declines in car fatalities, 2015 showed a massive jump in numbers. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has joined the Obama Administration in a call to action, analyzing the number of fatalities and their causes, and using the data to hopefully curb the numbers once more.
“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 the fatality data and help find ways to prevent these tragedies.”
One potential cause reported by Daily Caller is said to be global warming. White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Deputy Chief DJ Patil, and Doctor Mark Rosekind, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, posted in a blog that climate change might be a contributing factor.
Admittedly, higher temperatures might lead to hotter tempers especially in drivers who don’t like to use air conditioning. It could lead to added stress as radiators might not be able to handle triple digit heat after enough wear and tear. However, many might argue that global warming is a stretch in being a contributing factor in car crash fatalities.
As CBS News reports, MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church believes the consumption of alcohol may have been a major factor.
“We must do more to prevent these 100 percent preventable tragedies. Losing 10,265 people is completely unacceptable, and we must double down on our Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving – MADD’s blueprint for a nation of No More Victims.”
The general rule is that if you’ve had one can of beer, one glass of wine, or one shot of anything harder, you should sleep it off or get a ride home. The only time drunk driving is acceptable is if you are playing a video game, where the consequences aren’t real and neither are the deaths.
— DOM TIBERI (@DOMTIBERI) August 30, 2016
The deaths in 2015 related to car crashes also may have been escalated by the introduction of Uber, Lyft, and other hailing services. These services are adding more drivers to a situation which in New York City has already become a problem. Some drivers of this cars have been known to use mobile devices while they drive.
A possible solution for this is the upcoming revolution surrounding self-driving cars, a concept which some hailing services are already considering. Eliminate the human error and the possibility of fatalities might drop as artificial intelligence cannot get drunk or drive erroneously as a result of higher temperatures or flaring tempers.
With the rise in fatalities from car crashes in 2015, the Obama Administration has officially stated that something needs to change.
[Image via oneinchpunch/Shutterstock.com]