Jainchill & Beckert, LLC

Safety experts seek reasons for increased car crashes

Motor vehicle crashes pose a significant danger to people in Connecticut and across the country, and fatalities are on the rise. Approximately 40,000 people were killed in car accidents in 2016. This number represents a 6 percent increase over 2015 figures and a 14 percent increase over the 2014 figures. This means that the roadways are becoming more dangerous. However, it is often difficult for government agencies and safety researchers to fully understand the reasons for car crashes. They rely on the information recorded by local police at the time of an accident to tabulate national statistics.

However, the records that they use to do so are often incomplete and do not provide key information about why motor vehicle accidents happen. In 26 states, police reports do not have a field to record whether a driver was texting at the time of a crash, despite the threat of distracted driving. Another six states also have no information available about hands-free cellphone use.

There is a lack of fields or codes to document other issues as well. Police are not able to record driver fatigue as an issue in any state. While 32 states do not provide a way for police to record the drug involved in an accident that took place under the influence, six states also provide no way for police to record alcohol impairment below the legal limit.

Auto accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities, and most are caused by distracted, impaired or otherwise negligent driving. A personal injury lawyer could help people injured in an accident caused by someone else to seek compensation for their damages, including medical bills and lost wages.

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