Preliminary figures from the National Safety Council suggest that the U.S. will soon be recording over 40,000 road and highway deaths for the third year in a row. Though the numbers seem to be leveling off after a two-year trend of sharp increases, they should still be alarming to drivers across Georgia.
More specifically, the NSC states there were 18,720 deaths on America's roads between January and June of 2018. Compared to the numbers from the first half of 2017, this shows a plateauing effect. Researchers believe that the surge from two years ago was due to the growing economy, cheaper gas prices and corresponding increase in the number of miles that Americans traveled.
The economy continues to grow, which means that the plateauing is a very good, though not ideal, sign. Current fatality rates are still lower than they were in the early 2000s. In addition, cars are becoming safer with lane departure warnings, rearview cameras and other crash avoidance systems coming standard on many new models. Many drivers have older vehicles, though, so these systems may take a decade to really trickle down.
Another positive sign is a noticeable decrease in distracted driving. In particular, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports a decrease in the number of drivers who use their cell phone behind the wheel.
Even with safety systems, though, the human factor will always make car wrecks a possibility. Those who are injured through the negligence of another will want legal counsel. A lawyer could evaluate the case and determine how much the victim was at fault. Under the rule of comparative negligence, the victim will still qualify for compensation, but the amount will be lowered based on the degree of his or her fault. An attorney can then negotiate for a fair amount with the other party's auto insurance company.