Alabama death toll increasing in auto accidents
In 2016, an Alabama news agency put this grim headline on a story about traffic deaths: “As Alabama traffic deaths soar, ‘We’re washing blood off our highways every day.’” An Alabama State Trooper said that on August 31, 2016. It was “no exaggeration at all” based on Alabama death toll statistics, according to the article. The death toll in Alabama was up “30 percent” on the last day of August 2016 compared to the same date the previous year.
“Sixty to 70 percent” of those who died in these crashes weren’t wearing seat belts. An Alabama traffic safety expert pointed to other habits increasing fatalities in vehicular crashes – speeding, following too close, not using signals and distracted driving – all seen too often in Alabama in 2016. Experts were predicting by the end of the year; 600 people would lose their lives on Alabama roads compared to an average of 524 deaths each year from 2011 to 2015.
Alabama’s death toll tracks national increase
It’s been 53 years since traffic deaths rose to the levels they reached in 2016. The 2016 death rate was 6% higher than it was in 2015 and 14% higher than it was in 2014. The increase is the biggest over a two-year period since 1964, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). The economic and human cost of the death toll is sobering. According to Fortune Magazine an estimated 4.6 million people were seriously injured in 2016 in these crashes. and property and medical costs resulting from them “amounted to $432 billion.”
According to CNN, “more people die on U.S. roads every year than in other high-income countries.” While death rates in these countries have been dropping, the death rate in the U.S. is the slowest of all to decline. Data from the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates “as many as 40,000 people” died in U.S. car crashes in 2016 – a “6%” increase in traffic deaths over 2015 and a 14% increase over 2014 – the worst two-year increase in fatalities in 53 years.
According to Fortune Magazine an estimated 4.6 million people were seriously injured in 2016 in these crashes. and property and medical costs “amounted to $432 billion.” The Insurance Information Institute reports that claims increased “2.6 percent” in 2014 and 2016, while collision claim severity also rose “8.2 percent” in the first quarter of both years. The increase could raise insurance rates for auto owners if deaths don’t decline.
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