Fatal Auto Accidents Down Across U.S., Up in Maryland
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced some good news in a recent press release on fatal auto accidents: Although 37,133 people tragically died in car accidents in 2017, that number is down 1.8% from 2016. As a comparison, the previous two years showed shockingly large increases, at 8.4% from 2014 to 2015 and 6.5% for 2015 to 2016. Plus, early figures from 2018 show promise for additional decreases.
On the downside, Maryland as a state has not fared as well. Fatal auto accidents have steadily increased from 2014 to 2017. If you lost a loved on in a crash, a Baltimore County, MD auto accident attorney can tell you more about your legal options. A look at recent traffic trends provides some useful insight.
NHTSA Data on Decreased Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes
The NHTSA report broke down the 2016-2017 figures, showing decreases in a number of different categories:
- Accidents involving passenger cars were down 1.1%;
- Collisions related to pickup trucks showed a decrease of 4.5%;
- Motorcycle accidents lowered to 3.1%; and,
- Bicycle accidents were down 8.1%, while pedestrian incidents show a decrease of 1.7%.
As far as causes and contributing factors, there were also decreases. Alcohol-related fatal accidents experienced a decline of 1.1%, and speeding collisions were down 5.6%.
Increases in Maryland Fatal Auto Accidents
The Maryland Department of Transportation figures for the five-year period from 2013 to 2017 were less encouraging. There were 517 accidents with at least one fatality, and a total of 577 people lost their lives in 2017. By comparison, 443 people were killed in a total of 417 fatal auto accidents in 2014 – the lowest numbers for the subject time period.
The total number of injured victims has also increased:
- In 2013, 42,757 people were hurt in 29,236 crashes;
- The highest number of total collisions was 34,705 in 2016;
- The year that saw the most injured victims was 2017, when 51,182 were hurt.
Surviving Family Members are Also Victims
Regardless of the statistics, there is no doubt that fatal auto accidents affect more than just the person who is killed. Many deceased individuals leave behind a surviving spouse, children, and other family members. The emotional and financial void adds to the unbearable grieving process. Fortunately, Maryland law does allow certain survivors to seek remedies through a wrongful death action. It is possible to recover for such losses as:
- Medical costs;
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Economic losses related to the decedent’s wages and future earning capacity;
- Loss of parental care, support, and guidance;
- Losses based upon the spousal relationship; and,
- Other types of damages based upon your unique circumstances.
Consult with a Skilled Maryland Auto Accidents Attorney Today
Though a wrongful death action can not bring back a deceased family member, the compensation can help provide financial support to survivors as they move through the grieving process. For more information on your rights, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman. We can schedule an initial consultation to explain how wrongful death actions work under Maryland law.