Fatal Car Crashes Are Back Up: Why?
More than 36,000 people died in car crashes on America’s roads last year. Yes, it was the first time in seven years that the number went up. But that is still an unconscionable number of deaths in vehicle accidents.
In New York City and across the country, the problems that cause such crashes remain pervasive. Distracted driving, particularly involving mobile devices, is a national epidemic. Drunk driving remains a problem as well. There are many other, potentially lethal, forms of negligence as well.
To be sure, in the case of drunk driving, New York has passed Leandra’s Law to increase the consequences for DWI with a child passenger. And the law also imposes more requirements for ignition-interlock devices after a drunk driving conviction. Yet there are still far too many drunk driving accidents.
According to a recent report from the National Safety Council (NSC), much of the national increase in car crashes relates to more miles being driven. The number of miles driven has been on the rise since December 2011 – and with it the number of deaths in car accidents.
The NSC contends, however, that that better addressing two factors could significantly reduce the overall number of traffic deaths. One is talking or texting while driving. The other is the failure of law enforcement agencies to make speed limit enforcement a priority.
In recent years, state and local police agencies have faced many budget pressures. As a result, they often have sometimes not made speed enforcement much of a focus. Unfortunately, this can contribute to loss of life in traffic accidents caused by speeding drivers.
Source: “Crash-related deaths up for first time since 2005, report says,” Los Angeles Times, David Undercoffler, 2-20-13
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