Near 15 Percent Increase in Accidents, Be Safe Out There

Safety officials may have been trumpeting the decrease in fatal accidents in Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere through the economic donwturn, but the truth of the matter is that the decrease was short lived. According to CNN, there was a near 15 percent increase in the number of roadway fatalities during the first quarter of 2012, in comparison to the first quarter of 2011.
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Manufacturers are trying to produce safer vehicles and transportation officials are pushing safe-driving campaigns that caution motorists about the dangers of not wearing a seat belt, speeding, driving distracted or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Still, we are seeing more accidents this year than last. Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians around the country are all at some serious risks for an accident.

Our Fort Lauderdale accident lawyers understand that there were nearly 8,000 people who were killed in traffic accidents during the first four months of 2012. There were 6,700 people who were killed during the same time period in 2011. That’s a near 15 percent increase and it’s worrying transportation officials. Risks are only expected to get worse here in the state of Florida as we prep for season and snow-bird traffic.

Some people believe that the increase is because of the weather we’ve seen in the recent months. Locations throughout the country have seen some unseasonably warm weather lately. With warmer weather, motorists are more likely to head out on those summer vacations they’ve been awaiting all year. With more vehicle miles traveled overall among residents, we can bet on higher accident risks.

“Warmer-than-average winter weather may have contributed to higher vehicle miles traveled, and ultimately more fatal crashes,” said Jacob Nelson, who is the director of traffic safety advocacy with the Automobile Association of America.

What might be most frightening about these stats is that each and every year there is an increase in fatality rates after the first quarter. Yes, that’s right. The risks are supposed to increase.

Nelson says that it’s obvious from the release of this data that more needs to be done to help to reduce the risks and to bring down these fatality counts. He says that a few safe driving campaigns aren’t going to cut it.

The first quarter of 2012 come in at the second biggest year-to-year quarterly increase in traffic deaths since the feds started recording them in 1975.

In 2012, the number of vehicle miles traveled increased by more than 9.5 million. That’s nearly 1.5 percent more than 2011. As we round out the rest of the year, we can only expect the number of vehicle miles traveled to increase.

Everyone is urged to be careful, cautious and courteous drivers. That includes motorcycles, pedestrians and bicyclists. When accident rates increase, everyone is at risk.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an auto accident in Broward County or in any of the surrounding areas, call Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-401 to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.

Additional Resources:

U.S. traffic fatalities soar 13.5 percent in first quarter of 2012, by Jim Barnett, CNN
More Blog Entries:

Road Design Causing Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents in Broward and Miami-Dade, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, February 26, 2012

Teen Car Accidents in Fort Lauderdale a High Risk with Relaxed GDL Laws, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, June 7, 2012