It may appear as though the roads of America are getting safer, but the reality is a bit more complicated. After the economic crash of 2008, fewer vehicles were on the road, and traffic fatalities experienced a corresponding drop. The Washington Post reports that United State traffic fatalities hit an all-time low in 2011.
Yet these facts ignore the reality that over 18,000 people died on the road between January 1 and June 31, 2017. Another 2.1 million people were seriously injured in car accidents during that same time period.
Beyond that, a study released earlier this year by the University of Alabama revealed traffic deaths in the state rose by nearly a quarter in 2016 compared to the year before. A total of 1,058 people were killed in car accidents in Alabama last year, compared to 849 the year before. Causa
l and contributing factors cited by researchers included:
- Increased speeds;
- Lack of safety belts;
- More distracted drivers;
- An increase in pedestrians.
Despite some improvements in safety, hundreds of injury victims nationally die in crashes every day. The National Transportation Safety Board reports auto accidents involving speeding were responsible for more than 112,500 deaths on the roads of the United States between 2005 and 2014. The UA research found that every increase of 10 mph doubles the probability of an Alabama crash being fatal. It is important that negligent drivers be held accountable for speeding and other driving behaviors which endanger the lives of everyone on the road.
Where Speeding Accidents Are Most Likely to Occur
In order to address the problem of speeding-related accidents, it is important for drivers to be aware of the circumstances that are most likely to result in such an accident. Consumer Affairs reports that speeding-related fatalities are more than three times more likely to occur on local roads than on highways. Because of this, the National Transportation Safety Board is encouraging state, county, municipal, and other local governments to set and enforce stricter speeding laws.
Speeding and speeding-related accidents are also more likely to occur in areas which do not use photo enforcement programs. The National Center for Biotechnology Information published a longitudinal review of studies which measured the efficacy of automated enforcement technology programs. Of twenty-eight studies reviewed, every single one reported a lower number of crashes after implementation of a speed enforcement technology program.
Bloomberg reports that such technologies are widely acknowledged to be an effective deterrent to speeding, but that they are currently only used in fourteen states and the District of Columbia. Their efficacy has caused the National Transportation Safety Board to recommend that states remove laws which prohibit the use of such technologies.
What You Can Do To Avoid Speeding-Related Accidents
The reason photo enforcement technologies are so effective is that they hold drivers accountable for their driving behaviors. Until an individual driver accepts personal responsibility for safe driving habits, no amount of enforcement will reduce speeding accidents.
Help the drivers in your life stay safe. Friends and family members should speak up when a driver’s speed is not safe. While this can be an uncomfortable discussion, it is one that can save lives. Create a calm atmosphere of discussion in which no one is accused of being a “backseat driver."
Teens, in particular, must establish safe driving habits early. Parents should make sure that their teens always follow laws pertaining to speeding, distracted driving, passenger occupancy, and other important safety rules. For more seasoned drivers, it is never too late to re-examine driving habits and commit to safer behavior on the road.
Together, all drivers can make the roads of Alabama safer. When accidents do occur, an experienced Alabama auto accident attorney will secure fair compensation for auto accident injuries in order to hold negligent drivers responsible, and deter such dangerous behaviors in the future.