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Austin: “Traffic violence” taking lives

Fatal crashes on American roadways have surged to the highest level in 50 years. “Traffic violence” is a new term for that death rate.  CNN is calling it a “crisis on U.S. roads” as it reaches deep into areas in and around Austin.

Only nine months into 2015, Austin hit the 1986 record of 81 fatal accidents in one year, according to Austin’s ABC affiliate, KXAN-TV.  Three months later, on December 31, 2015, The Austin American Statesman  reported 2015’s death toll had jumped to 102 victims – another new record.  The newspaper reported Austin was averaging nearly two traffic deaths a week.

The city’s growth rate is a factor in the death toll. Between 2005 and 2015, Austin’s population jumped 37.7%, making it one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S.  Austin is still growing. More cars are crowd onto its roads each year.  More people driving means more accidents.

Safety devices not helping so far

The nation’s improving economy is increasing number of cars on roads all over the country. It’s one of the causes, according to safety experts, for the sudden spike in vehicle accidents in 2015 and 2016.  The jump in deaths pushed the number of fatalities on U.S. roads to a new record.  CNN  says the two year increase, – 14 percent – is the largest in 50 years.

In the first nine months of 2016 alone, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimated that more than 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes, according to The New York Times.

It may be the deadliest year since 2007, according to Fortune Magazine. Safety officials say they fear 2017 will set another record.

Causes of fatal accidents

The biggest cause of roadway deaths is preventable. Mark Rosekind, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), told NPR that “ninety four percent of crashes can be tied back to a human choice or error.”

Speeders, distracted drivers and drunk drivers are major causes of the spiking death rate. But The Governors Highway Safety Association is citing an additional reason.  It released a report in early 2017 showing that “both illegal and prescription drugs” were involved in “43 percent” of deadly accidents in 2015 “compared to about 37 percent involving alcohol.”  Evidence of marijuana was found in a number of the deceased drivers.

You can get justice with Wayne Wright

If you are a victim of traffic violence, Wayne Wright can file suit to recoup damages, pay medical bills and secure funds for your pain and suffering. Wayne Wright is one of America’s top trial lawyers.  His legal awards attest to his ability to win cases on behalf of his clients.  Calls and evaluations are free.  Wayne Wright’s 2014 Litigator Award, one of the nation’s rarest honors, based solely on winnings for clients.

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