March 21, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Traffic deaths increase in 2012, mandatory black boxes proposed
Article provided by Bruno Bellucci, III, P.C.
Visit us at http://www.belluccilaw.com/
New statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggest that driving on the nation's roads is not getting any safer. The data shows that after declining steadily for six years, traffic fatalities across the nation are increasing. According to data from the NHTSA, about 25,580 motorists died in car accidents during the first nine months of 2012. This is an increase of 1,696 fatalities from the same period of 2011.
The 7.1 percent increase in fatalities represents the largest increase during the first nine months of a year since 1975, which was the first year that the NHTSA started keeping statistics on traffic fatalities. Although this seems like bad news, the total number of people who have been killed during the first nine months of the year has actually declined 26 percent since 2005. However, as the number of traffic deaths for the first nine months has declined every year since then, experts are concerned about the increase for 2012.
Experts say that a reason for the increase may be due to Americans driving more in 2012 than they did in 2011. The number of miles traveled for the first nine months of 2012 increased by 14.2 billion miles over the same period of the previous year. Although experts say that it's too soon to explain why Americans travel habits increased, some point to the warmer winter of 2012. Experts believe that the warmer weather likely lengthened the motorcycle riding season and increased pedestrian activity, which could have possibly lead to more traffic deaths.
Black boxes proposed
Hoping to decrease traffic deaths significantly, the NHTSA has proposed a rule requiring black boxes--also called event data recorders--in all new vehicles built after September 2014. The recorders work similar to the black boxes used in aircraft, by collecting information before and after a crash such as:
-Whether the brake or accelerator was used before the crash
-The force of impact
-Whether seat belts were used
-The timing of the airbag deployment
The NHTSA says that data collected from the recorders could be used to help reconstruct car accidents and to find out what went wrong. Auto manufacturers could also use the data to improve the safety of future vehicle models.
Although about 91 percent of 2013 cars are already equipped with recorders, privacy advocates, fearing increased insurance premiums and governmental spying on motorists, oppose requiring recorders. However, NHTSA officials counter that the devices only record when the car is involved in an accident and can't be used to track individuals.
Although technology like the recorders is promising, it is unlikely to protect motorists against the danger of careless or inattentive drivers. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone's negligence, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to learn about your right to compensation.---
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