In light of improving vehicle safety features, many want to believe that our roads are safer. However, just last month, the National Safety Council released preliminary estimates indicating that motor vehicle deaths increased by 8% last year over the 2014 numbers. This is the largest year-over-year increase in 50 years and 2015 is the deadliest driving year since 2008. The Council reported that 38,300 people were killed on U.S. roads in 2015, and 4.4 million were seriously injured. This includes 1,105 Ohio drivers killed in 2015, which is an 11% increase since 2013.
This is particularly sobering when you pair it with the fact that teen drivers are three times as likely to have an accident than more experienced drivers. In fact, car crashes continue to be the #1 killer of teens in this country.
While many factors likely contributed to the fatality increase, the National Safety Council reported that a stronger economy and lower unemployment rates are likely at the core of the trend. Average gas prices were 28% lower in 2015 than in 2014 and are projected to continue dropping this year, making driving more affordable for many Americans.
The Council recommends the following tips to help ensure safety:
- Make sure every passenger buckles up on every trip
- Designate an alcohol- and drug-free driver or arrange alternate transportation
- Get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue
- Never use a cell phone behind the wheel, even hands-free
- Stay engaged in teens’ driving habits
- Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them.
For more information, contact Borgess Law, LLC at (567) 455-5955. You can also contact Borgess Law, LLC by submitting an online inquiry at www.BorgessLaw.com or emailing Attorney Borgess directly at pborgess@BorgessLaw.com. Borgess Law, LLC never charges a fee for an initial consultation.