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For the second year in a row, the number of car crash deaths reached over 40,000. According to National Safety Council (NSC) estimates, there were 40,100 U.S. automotive fatalities in 2017. This number is down from 2016 in which there were 40,327 deaths, a one percent decrease. However, the 2017 estimate is six percent higher than the number of deaths from car wrecks in 2015.
The official numbers will be released later this year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If the estimates hold up, it will be the steepest two-year increase in more than 50 years. The NSC estimates the cost of motor vehicle deaths, personal injury and property damage at $413.8 billion in 2017.
In 2015, there were 130 crash deaths in Delaware, compared to 119 in 2016 and 119 in 2017. From 2015 to 2017, there was therefore an eight percent decrease. Although this shows improvement, the NSC President and CEO says that there is a lot left to be accomplished in terms of improving roadway safety and decreasing the number of car wrecks.
Many policymakers agree that these crash deaths constitute a public health crisis that must be addressed. The NSC and the NHTSA both work to decrease the number of crashes and resulting injuries and deaths. The NSC spokeswoman says that, according to the estimates, they are not making the progress they had hoped for.
Safety advocates push for the implementation of high-tech safety improvements such as collision avoidance systems and self-driving vehicles. However, the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that in-vehicle technology may be hurting more than helping, as drivers take their eyes off the road for dangerous periods of time when trying to use voice-based and touch screen features.
The AAA research reveals that when programming navigation, drivers took their eyes off the road for an average of 40 seconds and most vehicle infotainment systems put high or very high levels of demand on drivers. This contributes to the 3,400 deaths and 391,000 personal injuries due to distracted driving each year, according to the NHTSA.
When someone is injured in a car wreck caused by someone else’s negligence, they may file a personal injury claim to recover damages for the monetary damages associated with their injuries. If that person dies, the personal representative of their estate may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased person’s beneficiaries. Family members may be able to recover damages for funeral and burial expenses, lost wages and benefits, loss of spousal or child support, loss of household services and mental anguish. In Delaware, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the date of the deceased person’s death according to the state statute of limitations.
If your loved one was fatally injured in a wreck due to someone else’s carelessness, you may be entitled to compensation for their preventable death. Contact an experienced Wilmington car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. We represent clients across Delaware, downstate Delaware, Milford, Wilmington, Bear and New Castle. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500.