Traffic Fatalities in Maine Continue To Rise
New statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have shown that 2016 had the highest traffic accident fatality rates since 2007. And it is not just auto accidents. Motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian accidents are all on the rise as well. Many are quick to point the finger at distracted driving activities such as texting while driving. However, rates of distracted driving have decreased by 2% from the previous year.
If distracted driving isn't the culprit, then why the jump in traffic accident fatalities? NHTSA statistics show that the rise in auto accident fatalities could be attributed to other risky behaviors. Predominantly drunk driving, but also speeding and driving without wearing a seatbelt, among others. Though drivers seem to be heeding the warnings and putting down their phones when they drive, many are still driving too fast or getting behind the wheel after too many drinks.
The NHTSA has promoted and continues to promote the different technologies that are available on most cars today- whose aim is to help decrease the rate of traffic accidents. These are features such as lane departure warnings, back-up cameras and blind spot detection. The reason for the NHTSA encouraging such technologies is that these and other devices "may eventually help reduce or eliminate human error and the mistakes that drivers make behind the wheel."
It is not just those on the road who experience the effects of an accident. Insurance companies are affected by this upswing in accident rates as well. Large insurance companies such as Allstate, State Farm, and Geico have noted claim costs that are higher than usual in 2016. This affects millions of other drivers as insurance companies are more likely to raise their insurance rates for all drivers when they are facing higher than usual claim costs.
Safety technology doesn't eradicate human error
The most prominent causes of accidents on the road come down to human error. It seems incredible that, after so many years of accidents and commonly known accident statistics, people still choose reckless behaviors such as driving drunk or not even wearing a seatbelt, but that continues to be the case. Whether a driver is distracted, acting recklessly or driving under the influence, car accidents happen because a driver made a mistake. They made a decision or behaved in a way they shouldn't have. Statistics like those found in the NHTSA report are helpful, but they are no cure for human error.
The car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein have seen what happens when a person drives recklessly or makes poor decisions such as driving while intoxicated and they know the steps to take to help those affected by such decisions. They have been helping people injured in accidents throughout Maine for more than 40 years. If you have been involved in an auto accident, they have the experience and knowledge to help you too.