2012 sees increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents

In the first three months of 2012, the number of fatal car accidents throughout the nation jumped a dramatic 13.4 percent. During the six-month period from January to June, 1,340 more people died in fatal car accidents than during the same time period last year. This led to many highway safety experts questioning why there was an increase after a six year decline.

One theory is that with the economy rebounding, people are driving more. Before, when many were being laid off, people had financial concerns and were trying to cut back in any way they could. For many this meant less trips and less overall driving as a way to save money.

Another theory is the warmer winter. This led to a longer season for motorcycle and bicycle riding, as well as more pedestrians out on foot.

Prior to this increase, traffic-related fatalities had been decreasing over the past six years. At one point, traffic deaths reached the lowest they’d been in the past 60 years. This was all attributed to an increase in the use of seat belts and more awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving. Better highway design, air bags and other automobile safety features also played a role in this decrease.

Going forward, if trends follow the increase noted in the first six months of this year, this would lead to an overall 9 percent increase for the year, which would still be 2,200 fewer deaths than reported in 2008.

Nevertheless, any traffic fatality is simply one too many. Getting caught up in statistics for 2012 at this point may, in fact, prove to be futile. What is important is keeping everyone on Massachusetts roadways safe from harm. Drivers can do this by staying alert, avoiding distractions and avoiding other dangerous driving behaviors.

Source: The Washington Post, “Traffic deaths jump after six-year decline,” Ashley Halsey III, Oct. 2, 2012

  • Even when taking precautions, the negligence of other drivers can still lead to car crashes. Our firm has experience handling those cases where an accident was caused by another’s driving habits or defective roadways. To learn more, please visit our Boston car accident page.