Louisianans should not only be aware of the dangers on the road, but also the statistics of how and why people are injured and killed in an accident on the road. Researchers examine the numbers of people who are in a fatal accident on the road to determine the cause and formulate strategies to decrease them. The numbers for 2016 have been analyzed, and it was found that there was a rise in deaths.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that the number of deaths on the road in 2016 rose by 5.6 percent. In total, there were 37,461 deaths. The largest increases were in pedestrians and motorcyclists. The overall number of deaths was the highest in a decade. Another issue that is believed to have led to the rise in fatalities is the greater number of people who are on the road.

For every 100 million vehicle miles traveled, there were 1.18 fatalities. That is a rise of 2.6 percent from 2015. The beginning of the spike in traffic deaths started in 2014. Much of this is attributed to the reduction in the price of gas, allowing people to take to the road in greater numbers. The total number of miles people traveled by vehicle in the U.S. in 2016 rose by 2.2 percent. The increase in 2016 came after an 8.4 percent increase in 2015. This has been the biggest two-year rise for more than 50 years.

Nearly 6,000 pedestrians died. It was the highest level of pedestrian fatalities since 1990 and was an increase of 9 percent from 2015. Motorcycle fatalities rose by slightly more than 5 percent. The 5,286 who died were the most since 2008. Bicyclist deaths rose slightly, by 1.3 percent. There were 840 killed, the highest since 1991. Surprisingly, there was a reduction in fatalities due to distracted drivers and drowsy drivers, but that is believed to be due to the rise in speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol and for a failure to wear a safety belt. It can be difficult to determine the true number of distracted driving fatalities.

For those who are confronted with the unexpected loss of a loved one in a traffic accident, it can be a difficult time emotionally and financially. Discussing a wrongful death lawsuit with an attorney can provide information and assistance in filing a claim.

Source: wral.com, “Traffic deaths spiked in 2016, including pedestrians killed,” Joan Lowy, Oct. 6, 2017