WJLA reported recently on a tragic multi-vehicle accident that led to the death of two toddlers. The toddlers were killed when their mother crossed over a median while driving eastbound on highway I-64 in West Virginia. Her vehicle struck a tractor-trailer head on. A third child was also in the car, but that child's condition was not known at the time of WJLA's report. The mother was reportedly seriously injured and had to be airlifted to the hospital. The incident occurred just past the Milton exit, and the highway had to be shut down temporarily between the Hurricane and Milton exits.
Investigators are still trying to determine why the woman veered out of her own lane. Unfortunately, this accident is just one of many this year in which lives will be lost. Accidents happen daily, but the number has been on the rise in recent years, according to a recent report from NPR. This should be a cause for serious concern and should be an issue that every motorist comes together to try to resolve.
NRP reports the chances of a crash death spiked dramatically in the last two years. Although there was a substantial stretch of time wherein car accident deaths declined year-to-year as cars got safer and new crash avoidance technologies developed. Unfortunately, it appears this trend is no longer holding. Instead, national data reveals we're moving in the opposite direction. The new trend: car accident rates rising substantially.
There were more than 40,000 car accident fatalities in the United States in 2016, which makes 2016 the first time since 2007 that total car accident fatalities exceeded 40,000. This high number of fatalities reflected a 14 percent increase compared with car accident deaths in 2014. It was a six percent year-to-year increase in deaths in car accidents between 2015 and 2016. The increase over the 2014 to 2016 period was the biggest that has occurred in 50 years.
An increase in drivers on the road is a partial explanation for why crash rates are going up so much. When economic conditions improve, as they have over the past few years, more people drive because there are more people with jobs and commutes with low unemployment. People also have more money so can afford to go more places, especially as gas prices have become fairly low.
More traffic alone isn't the only explanation though. As many as 94 percent of all motor vehicle accidents occur because of human error, according to experts who spoke to NPR.
Drivers who speed, are distracted, are drunk, do drugs before driving, or engage in other unsafe behaviors are making the roads much less safe for everyone. Those motorists who engage in dangerous behaviors before driving should be held legally liable for losses that they cause to occur.
Our experienced injury lawyers can help you identify which defendants may be held to account, and the best way to navigate through that process to maximize your chances of financial recovery.