Traffic Fatalities Surged in Washington and Nationwide during 2012
Over the past seven years, the number of traffic fatalities in Washington consistently decreased. According to the National Safety Council, however, traffic deaths in Washington increased by five percent in the year 2012. An estimated 36,200 people were killed across the nation in car accidents that year, compared to 34,600 deaths the previous year. This is the first time since 2005 that traffic-related fatalities have increased. Crash injuries also increased by about five percent.
Researchers are trying to determine what caused this unfortunate increase in fatal crashes. Some suggest that the improved economy may have caused more drivers to get on the road. A professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute has a different take on the numbers, as told to The Seattle Times. He says that people drive slower to conserve gas during tough economic times. He also says that while the economy was struggling, there were fewer heavy trucks on the road.
The executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) says that more people are walking and biking to work, which has led to an increase in pedestrian and bicycle accidents. Cars are getting safer each year, but pedestrians and bicyclists still have nothing to protect them during a collision.
If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, it may be in your best interest to discuss your legal rights and options with a skilled Seattle wrongful death auto accident lawyer. Families of victims can seek compensation from the at-fault parties for damages including funeral costs, loss of wages, medical expenses, hospitalization, surgeries, and other losses felt by loved ones.