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2019 Sees Slight Decline in Car Crash Deaths

Nichol & Associates, Attorneys at Law Aug. 31, 2020

For the second year in a row, there were fewer car crash fatalities in Tennessee and across the U.S. than the previous year. According to preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council, 38,800 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2019, which is 2% less than the 39,404 who died in 2018 and 4% less than the 40,231 in 2017.

The numbers are still exceedingly high. The same goes for the number of car crash victims who had to seek medical attention: some 4.4 million people, the NSC estimates, although this also represents a 2% decline from the previous year. Some states became safer while others did not. The most improvement was seen in Vermont with 31% fewer fatalities and New Hampshire with 30%. Maine and Wyoming, though, saw a 35% and 32% increase, respectively.

Some cities have adopted a Vision Zero model for mitigating car crash risk factors. The Road to Zero initiative, which the NSC launched back in 2016, is also raising awareness of the importance of mitigation measures. One state, Utah, has lowered the legal limit for blood alcohol content from 0.08 to 0.05. All of these factors may be contributing to the lower numbers.

Drivers, for their part, must continue being safe and alert. They could consider installing vehicle safety systems like collision warning and automatic emergency braking to help prevent collisions.

When drivers act negligently by, for example, driving while drowsy or drunk, and cause a crash because of it, victims may be able to pursue a personal injury case. It may be wise for them to seek legal counsel, though, because insurance companies can be aggressive in urging plaintiffs to accept a low-ball settlement. With a lawyer negotiating on their behalf, victims might be reimbursed for all losses, including medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost income.