Traffic fatalities are an absolute tragedy. These are unexpected deaths that occur under horrific circumstances, leaving family members and friends stunned, grieving and looking for answers. Unfortunately, more and more loved ones are experiencing these devastating circumstances each year.According to an article published on Bloomberg, the National Safety Council recently reported that there were more than 40,000 car accident fatalities in the United States in 2016. This startling number has rose 6 percent since 2015 and a whopping 14 percent since 2014.
These are the kinds of facts and figures that stun people across the country, including those in Colorado who have lost family members and friends in local accidents. This recent report isn’t just talking citizens by surprise, it’s also cause for alarm for the National Safety Council. After recognizing the steep rise and the need for action to reduce the number of fatalities on U.S. roads and highways, the council has released several recommendations.
ClaimsJournal.com reports that some of those recommendations include:
- Requiring first-time DUI offenders to install ignition interlocks in their cars, in order to prevent them from drinking and driving in the future.
- Utilizing technology in order to enforce traffic laws. This can include, but is not limited to, cameras installed at traffic lights and intersections in order to monitor drivers who do not stop for the lights as well as installing speed cameras that can track a driver’s speed as they go by.
- Continuing to promote legislation that will limit the use of technology while driving. The council recommends limiting the use of hands-free devices as well, as they are still distracting to drivers who should be focusing on the road.
- Greater enforcement of seat belt laws in states across the country, as these laws save a significant number of lives each year.
- Recommending that states implement a graduated licensing system that includes three-tiers, ultimating limiting driver privileges up until drivers are 21 years old. The hope is that drivers will be able to practice their skills while they mature, allowing them to earn the privilege of driving without restriction when they reach an appropriate age.
- Requiring motorcyclists to wear their helmets at all times.
- Improving pedestrian safety campaigns that allow those on the sidewalks and crossing the street to be more safe at all times.
- Creating regulations that make improved auto technology mandatory and standardized in all vehicles.
Ultimately, Colorado residents need to recognize that there’s a lot they can do in order to prevent traffic fatalities on the road. Drivers need to take responsibility for their actions, and remain vigilant at all times. Steps that drivers in Colorado can take to reduce car accident fatalities include:
- Do not drink and drive at any time. There are many options for getting home safely that do not require individuals to operate a vehicle after they have consumed alcohol. Visitors at local ski resorts may find that there are transportation options available at the resorts.
- Avoid all distractions while driving. The council reported that at least 47 percent of drivers “feel comfortable” with texting while driving. This is a startling statistic that proves that far too many people willingly distract themselves on the road. The dangers of texting while driving are well-known, and there’s no text that is so important that it must be answered while you are on the road. In an emergency, pull off the road and respond accordingly.
There’s nothing more devastating than a person being killed in an unnecessary and avoidable car accident. Given the fact that car accident fatalities are on the rise across the country and within the state, it’s more important than ever to remain vigilant and take extra precautions while on the road. The roadways are busier, and drivers are more distracted than ever before.
If you or someone that you love has been injured or killed in a car accident, it’s important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. You may be eligible for compensation. When you are facing an unimaginable tragedy, allow an experienced attorney to deal with the legal ramifications while you take the time you need to grieve and mourn. Contact us for more information today.