NHTSA Announces Steep Rise in Roadway Deaths in 2015 April 8, 2016The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced a heartbreaking new statistic – a 9.3-percent increase in the number of roadway deaths occurring across America in the first nine months of 2015. The news comes as a sobering surprise. For over a decade, researchers had reported a steady year-over-year decrease in the number of highway deaths. Traffic deaths dropped 1.2 percent in 2014 and more than 22 percent from 2000 to 2014.Research shows that more than 26,000 people died in traffic crashes between January and September of last year, compared to 23,796 deaths over the same period in 2014. Throughout 2015, some 2,445 traffic deaths occurred in Florida, 1,244 in Georgia.To help reduce the number of roadway deaths, the NHTSA is holding a series of regional summits designed to examine unsafe behaviors and human choices that contribute to traffic deaths. This is critical because a full 94 percent of automobile crashes and accident fatalities can be blamed at least in part on human factors including driving while drunk, drugged, distracted or drowsy; speeding; failing to properly use seatbelts and child seats; and failing to adequately watch for cyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users.“We’re seeing red flags across the U.S. and we’re not waiting for the situation to develop further,” NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind told reporters. “It’s time to drive behavioral changes in traffic safety and that means taking on new initiatives and addressing persistent issues like drunk driving and failure to wear seat belts.”If you or someone you love suffers an injury or loss in a traffic crash due to another driver’s negligence or deliberate act, get medical treatment and call 800-251-1111 to speak with an auto accident attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell.