New study says 2012 saw car accident fatalities increase

March 11th, 2013 - by DKRPA

Many Florida residents may not realize this, but we have not seen a national increase in motor vehicle accidents since 2005. Given the controversy surrounding texting while driving (and distracted driving in general), one would think that those numbers have only gone up.

A lot of credit has to go to car manufacturers for creating more structurally sound vehicles that have superior safety features in comparison to their vehicular brethren of yesteryear.

So the declining accident fatality trend must be continuing then, right? Not so fast, says the National Safety Council.

According to that organization, motor vehicle accident fatalities actually increased in 2012 (when compared to 2011); marking the first time this has happened since 2005 (when compared to 2004).

What has changed to create this rise in the fatality rate? The NSC says that two key contributors — an improved job market and a warm winter — are the culprits. With more people getting back to work after the 2008 economic collapse, it means more cars out on the road. Inherently, there will be more accidents.

At the same time, an unusually warm winter created a similar car accident phenomenon to the improved job market. Contrary to what many may believe, bad weather actually reduces car accidents. When the weather is nice, people are more willing to drive around.

Given these outside factors seem to be the main cause for the increase in motor vehicle accident fatalities, it puts the focus back on distracted driving and what we need to do to curb this dangerous and negligent activity. Florida has continually tried to pass legislation that bans texting while driving, but to no avail. Maybe this data will finally get the state to protect innocent people from negligent drivers.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Crash-related deaths up for first time since 2005, report says,” David Undercoffler, Feb. 20, 2013