The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) recently released data on traffic fatalities brought some good news. Fatal crashes last year reached an all-time low since record-keeping of such accidents began in 1949. The decline was nearly countrywide, with all but a few states reporting improved safety numbers. Illinois was among the states showing improvements, with fatalities decreasing 26% since 2006 on state roadways. However, just as safety officials were heralding the good news, some surprising news emerged. Despite the long trend of incredible improvements, initial figures on the first quarter of 2012 showed traffic fatalities had increasing dramatically.
Each year in the United States there are approximately 5 million police-reported motor vehicle accidents. At this high rate, odds are good you will personally be involved in a car accident at some point in your lifetime. Many of us, thankfully, never experience more than mild fender benders or parking lot scrapes. However, around half of these reported accidents involve some sort of injury. In other words, over two million people a year are injured in the U.S. as a result of a motor vehicle crash. If you are a driver, you likely understand your rights regarding insurance and coverage. But what about passengers? A passenger rarely has any culpability when a crash occurs, putting them in the unique position of being a victim regardless of whether the car they were in or another’s caused the accident. If you are injured in a crash, therefore, it’s helpful to know what compensation you may be eligible to pursue for your injury and damages.
More than any other time of year, the holiday season brings with it a host of parties and gatherings. From small family get-togethers to mandatory work functions, from glitzy New Year’s galas to neighborhood cookie exchanges, most of us will be socializing a lot more. With these parties often comes not just a banquet of rich foods, but a bevy of drinks -- wine with dinner, a champagne toast, and that seemingly innocuous punch or eggnog that actually packs a wallop. But an unfortunate side effect of all this holiday cheer is that more people are driving under the influence. It is helpful, therefore, to be aware of some facts that may help you and your loved ones avoid a tragedy this holiday season.
Most parents or caregivers would never allow a child to ride in a car without using safety restraints. Today, we are more aware that failing to use such devices is not only dangerous, but can be considered a criminal offense and/or child endangerment. As a result of this increased awareness, the rate of children injured in traffic accidents has fallen steadily. Unfortunately, an ongoing safety problem is the improper use of car seats. Despite caregivers’ best intentions, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined that three out of four parents use child restraints incorrectly. All caregivers, therefore, can benefit from improving their knowledge of proper car seat use.
Despite a steady increase in population and roadway traffic, the 2011 report by the Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract had some good news for drivers and passengers. Traffic accidents and fatalities have been consistently declining. The latest report, which combines a variety of analysis from federal, state and private organizations, includes information on traffic accidents from the years 1980-2008. Happily, the latest report shows not only an improvement in traffic safety nationally, but nearly across the board for every individual state.
Imagine you’re driving down the road when you see a blur of motion out of the corner of your eye. Before you can even turn your head to look, you feel a shuddering impact and hear the sickening sound of screeching tires and rending metal. You’ve just been in a car accident. Though it was the last thing you expected to happen when you left the house that day, you’re one of a large statistic. On average, approximately 6.5 million car crashes occur in the United States a year – that’s over 17,000 a day. Unfortunately, the odds are high that at some point in your life you will be involved in a vehicular collision. It is therefore important to know what to do when a crash occurs.
When people discuss safety on public transportation, the conversation tends to focus on protecting ourselves from crime. We are advised to be aware of suspicious characters, to secure your belongings against theft, to report abandoned packages, etc. However, what about our safety from the vehicle itself? When we ride public transport, we trust that the operators of these vehicles have our best interests at heart. We have faith in the professionalism of not only the company that runs the vehicle and its operators, but also the city, state and national government entities devoted to the oversight of our safety. And yet, preventable accidents continue to occur.