In news that should concern the public at large, motor vehicle fatalities rose across modes of transportation last year, according to November figures released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
While any motor vehicle fatality is devastating, the statistics for 2012 were particularly startling, because motor vehicle fatalities increased last year for the first time since 2005. While the NHTSA could not point to any one factor causing the increase in danger on roads across the nation, it pointed out the following facts:
- Pedestrian fatalities increased 6 percent last year. Pedestrian deaths occur more often in urban areas at night and are often related to alcohol. In an effort to curb pedestrian deaths, the NHTSA launched a new informational website this year and offered grant money to 22 cities to initiate improved safety measures for those on foot.
- For motorcyclists, the fatality rate continued to rise, with a 7 percent increase in lives lost last year. The vulnerability of bikers coupled with the low profile of their vehicles puts motorcyclists at exceptional risk. Good weather in the last year may have contributed to the increased death rate, as more cyclists made their way onto the road and into fatality statistics.
- Despite long-term knowledge that seatbelt use reduces injury and death, two-thirds of those killed in vehicle accidents at night were not wearing safety belts.
Motor vehicles are safer than ever, but more people continue to die through motorist mistakes and negligence.
Buckle up, observe the rules of the road and speak with committed legal counsel if you are injured in a vehicle accident in North Carolina.