Increases in Traffic Fatalities Nationwide, with Alabama Cities Near the Top of the List

Over the past two years, traffic fatalities have been rising nationwide. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), among the top fifty on the list of American cities with the highest fatality rates are a couple here in our home state of Alabama.

The website AxleGeek used the NHTSA data to determine which cities in the US experienced the most traffic fatalities per 100,000 residents. The analysts found that Birmingham, Alabama had the fourth-highest fatality rate, with 19.3 auto fatalities per 100,000 residents in 2015. Ranking at number 34 was Montgomery, Alabama. That city experienced 12.5 fatalities per 100,000 residents in 2015.

Alabama was far from the only state to experience a troubling increase in the number of auto fatalities. Nationwide, traffic fatalities went up by 7.2% in 2015, constituting the first time since the 1960s that traffic fatalities went up from one year to the next. Experts and policy makers had begun to expect that improvements in vehicle safety technology and better education among drivers would cause fatality rates to fall every year. For reasons that experts don’t completely understand, fatality rates have begun to rise instead of fall. The first six months of 2016 have been even deadlier than the first half of 2015, with fatalities rising over 10% over 2015’s numbers.

The Administrator of the NHTSA, Dr. Mark Rosekind, offered that human error and reckless behavior continue to cause the lion’s share of accidents on US roads. “The data tell us that people die when they drive drunk, distracted, or drowsy, or if they are speeding or unbuckled. While there have been enormous improvements in many of these areas, we need to find new solutions to end traffic fatalities,” Dr. Rosekind stated. Twelve percent of Birmingham’s fatalities were deemed alcohol-related, and a staggering 32% of all Montgomery’s auto fatalities were found to be related to alcohol. Drivers who choose to get behind the wheel after drinking can face not only criminal penalties, but can also face liability in civil court for injuries caused in accidents caused by drunken driving.

If you or someone you love has been hurt in an accident in Alabama, contact the seasoned, knowledgeable, and effective personal injury attorneys at the Dothan personal injury law firm Cobb, Boyd, White & Cobb for a consultation, at 334-677-1000.