Every year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers its latest statistical report on the vehicle collisions that ended fatally for victims in the U.S. Only two days into 2013, the administration has already released tentative reports for the 2012 year, accounting for the first 9 months of the year (January to September 2012). The results? According to the recent projection, it's estimated that at least 25,580 people lost their lives in traffic fatalities in areas throughout the U.S., the state of Washington included.
Compared to the same nine months of the previous year, 2011, this projected number reflects an increase of 7.1%, up from the 23,884 fatality crashes to occur only a year before. Such a significant increase could be the result of the coinciding increase in the total number of vehicle miles that were traveled between January and September of 2012 as compared to 2011. Whatever the reason, however, the statistics inarguably show that the number of lives that were lost last year from traffic collisions alone is cause for concern.
The statistics that were just issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are particularly concerning considering the fact that the nation, as a whole, has exhibited a downward trend in vehicle collision fatalities for several years now. In fact, the 7.1% jump is the largest increase that the U.S. has experienced in vehicle collision fatalities since 1975; which, coincidentally, was the very first year that NHTSA began collecting such data on auto accidents in the country.
The data used to collect the statistics that we are now looking at is still being assessed by members of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of whom are still working to obtain numbers from the rest of the year. Given that the first quarter of 2012 alone is the impetus for the rest of the year's dramatic increase in auto accident fatalities, it is easy to assume the worse for the remaining three months of the year that have not yet been accounted for. During the second and third quarters of 2012 alone, 4.7% and 4.9% increases in accident fatalities were felt. We will have to wait to see what the 4th quarter of the year will bring.
Statistics such as those which have been assessed and released by NHTSA officials are very symptomatic of the increasing concern that the Seattle personal injury attorneys at our firm have felt for decades now. With more than 30 years of experience in the practice, we have seen too many grieving families file wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of a loved one whose life was claimed in a motor vehicle accident that could have been avoided. The innocent lives that are lost in accidents of this nature deserve to be recognized just as much as those that are injured in non-fatal accidents. Unfortunately, fatality victims are not given the chance to take the same legal actions as are other injury victims.
At Ward & Smith, PLLC, our personal injury practice extends to the families of fatality accidents as well as injury victims. For the families that have lost a loved one in a fatal auto accident such the ones that claimed the lives of no fewer than 25,580 people in the first 9 months of 2012, we are here to help. Until the roads become safer, and reckless / negligent drivers are removed from highway, we can expect to continue suffering from the tragedy brought on by fatality car crashes in Washington and throughout the U.S. As such, residents of Washington can also expect our firm to be on hand to help victims and their families.