Oklahoma residents may have heard that the number of traffic deaths in the United States went up by 7.2 percent in 2015 compared to 2014. Overall, there were 35,092 deaths, and several reasons were attributed to this increase. First, there was a 3.5 percent increase in the number of miles traveled in 2015 compared to 2014, and that was in part because of an increase in jobs and a decrease in fuel prices.
In addition to the increase in traffic deaths in auto accidents, there was an 8 percent increase in motorcycle deaths. However, the number of traffic deaths in 2015 is still about 25 percent lower than it was a decade ago. Improvements such as the increased use of airbags and seat belts as well as technology such as electronic stability control are credited with this decrease. Furthermore, there has been a decrease in the number of drunk drivers on the road.
The increase in traffic deaths from 2014 to 2015 was the single highest increase since 1966, and it spurred a call to action from the transportation secretary. Researchers, safety experts and members of the public were encouraged to look at the data and come up with ways to make the roadways safer. Data showed that roughly half of traffic deaths were to those who were not wearing a seat belt while 30 percent were caused by drunk or speeding drivers.
Those who suffer serious injuries in a car accident may be entitled to compensation if negligence of another motorist was the cause. An attorney may review the case to determine if that was the case. If so, an injured victim may be entitled to compensation for medical bills as well as lost wages and lost future earnings. Examples of negligence may include impaired driving, distracted driving or speeding.