Lax in Driving Safety Laws May Explain Spike in Traffic Fatalities

Recent studies indicate a possible and surprising reason for an increase in traffic fatalities.  According to a “2017 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws” report that rank effectiveness of roadway laws nationwide, unenforced or inadequate safety regulations may be directly related to the rising number of motor vehicular accidents and deaths.  In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 28,000 people died in traffic accidents in the first nine months of 2016. This represents an 8% increase from 2015 and the greatest surge in vehicular deaths in at least fifty years.  Although Florida was not cited among those states that were woefully behind in adopting optimal roadway safety laws, pedestrian traffic deaths in Florida for 2016 saw an increase from 2015 based on an analysis of preliminary data.  In addition, Data provided by State Highway Safety Offices indicated that the number of pedestrian deaths in 2016 increased by 11 percent compared to 2015 reflecting the largest annual increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities in the last forty years. Playing a causal role in the number of traffic fatalities are offenses such as

  • Expanded use of cell-phones and other electronic devices.
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Insufficient ignition interlock devices for drivers with a DUI record.
  • Failure to use or improper use of seatbelts and booster seat for children that have outgrown child seat law requirements.
  • Poor road conditions that increase risks in inclement weather conditions.
  • Inconsistencies in texting bans and motorcycle helmet laws

Subtle variances in texting regulations or bans from state to state relative to cell phone use leave drivers mostly confused about what is permitted or prohibited.  A review of current traffic laws and other interventions have been considered that could help include standardizing and more enforcement of existing laws to reduce the number of people dying on the nation’s roadways.  Some areas under scrutiny, for instance include motorcycle helmet laws, speeding, texting bans and seatbelt laws, implementing programs to reinforce roadway safety laws for newly licensed teens and elderly drivers among others.

It should be noted however, that while government officials have a responsibility to provide adequate guidelines and laws to protect people traveling on the roadways, drivers and pedestrians also need to take steps to prevent accidents that could result in injuries or deaths for themselves and others. Whether there are bans or penalties for cell-phone or seat-belt use or other roadway safety laws for drivers in your state, it is in your best interest and for everyone using the roadway to take the following precautions:

  • Minimize electronic device distractions and never text and drive.
  • Maintain your vehicle for driving in all types of weather and road conditions.
  • Always engage in appropriate seatbelt use for yourself, passengers and children traveling in the vehicle.  
  • Be proactive about road safety by taking the necessary steps to avoid driving while intoxicated.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a roadway accident, we recommend that you speak to an experienced personal injury attorney. To learn more about your rights in a road accident situation with injuries or death, call for a free consultation today at (561) 655-1990 or visit our website.

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Conveniently located in West Palm Beach for 27 years, Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, LLP concentrates in Personal Injury, Wrongful death, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability and Auto accidents. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we specialize in helping victims and their families get fair compensation for injuries caused by the negligence or recklessness of others. Our main areas of practice include personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, and premise liability. We provide each client with the highest quality representation from a top Florida accident and injury lawyer.

 

Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath
515 N Flagler Dr, 10th Floor
West Palm Beach
Florida, FL 33401
(561) 655-1990
www.foryourrights.com

Sources:

  1. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/states-where-the-drivers-are-most-dangerous/
  2. https://www.huduser.gov/portal/pdf/ResearchRoadmap-2017Update.pdf

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