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Deadly Car Accidents Rose to All-Time High in 2021

Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky reports that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of car accident deaths in the United States rose dramatically during the first three quarters of 2021, to a shocking number of nearly 32,000, with ten percent of those deaths happening in Florida. Sadly, this rise follows the post-pandemic surge noted once the Covid-19 lockdowns were lifted.

The government estimates that the number of car accident deaths during the period last year from January through September rose by twelve percent compared to the same time frame in 2020, a rise which was the highest recorded in over forty years, the greatest rise since the government’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System began monitoring traffic deaths. In fact, the number of car accident deaths of the year’s first nine months was the highest during those months since 2006. As expected, Florida, which was one of the first states to lift pandemic restrictions, was one of the states which lead the rise in traffic accident deaths. The rise in fatalities correlates to 1.36 traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles driven, which statistically was a slight rise from the 1.35 per miles traveled measured in 2020. Interestingly, the deadly rise diminished during the third quarter of 2021 versus the same quarter of 2020.

In light of this shocking rise, the Department of Transportation vowed to roll out a nationwide plan, called the National Roadway Safety Strategy, in hopes of reversing this deadly trend. Specifically, part of the recently passed infrastructure law will encourage states to build safer roads, with dedicated bicycle and bus lanes, increase lighting along rural roads and install more crosswalks. Given the difficulties local police departments are having deploying officers for traffic patrols, plans also call for installation of speed cameras, which are disfavored by motorists, but provide for greater and more cost-effective speed enforcement. Evidence is clear that reducing speeding motorists correlates to an equivalent drop in violent crashes, meaning lives are saved.

The primary components of the Roadway Safety Strategy, according to the plan put out, including:

  • Safer People: Encourage safe, responsible behavior by people who use our roads and create conditions that prioritize their ability to reach their destination unharmed.
  • Safer Roads: Design roadway environments to mitigate human mistakes and account for injury tolerances, to encourage safer behaviors, and to facilitate safe travel by the most vulnerable users.
  • Safer Vehicles: Expand the availability of vehicle systems and features that help to prevent crashes and minimize the impact of crashes on both occupants and non-occupants.
  • Safer Speeds: Promote safer speeds in all roadway environments through a combination of thoughtful, context-appropriate roadway design, targeted education and outreach campaigns, and enforcement.
  • Post-Crash Care: Enhance the survivability of crashes through expedient access to emergency medical care, while creating a safe working environment for vital first responders and preventing secondary crashes through robust traffic incident management practices.

As personal injury attorneys helping seriously injured car accident victims across Florida, we applaud and encourage the government’s efforts to reduce deadly car accidents, which is why we remind everyone to focus on driving safety and avoid using cell phones while driving.

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