Positive Trends Declining with Upsurge in Auto Injuries
Increase in Car Accident Injuries a Disturbing Trend
Automobile safety has come a long way since the 1970s. A combination of vehicle safety regulations, a focus on reducing drinking and driving, and a general focus on enforcing traffic laws has made driving a much less dangerous activity than it once was. Unfortunately, the last two years have started to show a reverse in the decline, with traffic fatalities increasing each of the last two years. Driving has become more deadly, both in the nation at large and specifically in Wisconsin.
Increasing Death Toll
In 2014, the total number of fatal car crashes in Wisconsin was 494, part of a largely steady decline up to that point. But in 2015, that number jumped to 555, and in 2016 continued its increase, rising to 588. And in 2017, the total through July was 342, up 6 deaths from the same time period in 2016. This reversal over the last three years is startling; vehicle safety features are not going away, but the steady increase in deaths is impossible to ignore.
Reasons for the Change
We can speculate on the reasons for the changes. Wisconsin’s speed limit was increased to 70 miles per hour in 2015, the year trends began shifting in the wrong direction. Still, the death toll that year was rising before the change was implemented. Other factors include more drivers on the road, more time driving, and distracted driving with increased cell phone usage. Authorities estimate that about 90% of the deaths are caused at least in part by poor decision making.
Unfortunately, this means that other drivers’ habits on the road can put you in danger. You can avoid some problems by driving safely and attentively, and practicing defensive driving techniques. But if you or a loved one is injured or killed due to someone else’s reckless driving, you will need experienced representation. Eisenberg Law Offices has the experience and expertise you can rely on in the Madison, Wisconsin area.