In early October, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released data on the number of U.S. roadway deaths that occurred during the first six months of 2016. Despite a growing emphasis on roadway safety in vehicle manufacturing, the number of deaths on U.S. roads increased by about 10 percent from the same time period in 2015, to nearly 18,000 people. With a 20 percent jump, Montana was among the four states with the largest hike in fatal accidents.
NHTSA data shows that fatality numbers rose among drivers as well as bicyclists, pedestrians, and passengers in both cars and trucks. The amount of alcohol-related crashes also increased, sources indicate. Following the release of the NHTSA report, the U.S. Transportation Department pledged to reduce roadway fatalities over a 30-year span. In tandem with the initiative, dubbed the Road to Zero Coalition, the federal government intends to distribute $3 million in funds to roadway safety groups.
If the trend continues through the end of 2016, the number of U.S. roadway deaths will be at its highest since the 1960s, according to sources. Industry experts say that there are a number of ways motorists can do their part in reducing roadway fatalities, such as always wearing seat belts and adhering to the posted speed limit. However, cutting down on distracted and drowsy driving may also be key factors.
Those dealing with the loss of a loved one following a fatal accident on a Montana road may wish to seek compensation from the at-fault driver. A personal injury attorney may be able to assist surviving family in filing a wrongful death claim in order to obtain compensation for their losses.
Source: Washington Post, "Nearly 18,000 killed on U.S. roadways between January and June," Ashley Halsey III and Michael Laris, Oct. 5, 2016