Sep18

Deadly Combination: Lower Gas Prices and Higher Car Accidents in 2015

Image of the front end of a vehicle after a car accident.

It is not a trend anyone likes to see, but 2015 is shaping up to be one of the most dangerous years for traffic accidents in Florida and across the nation in nearly a decade.

According to an article in the Daytona Beach News Journal, the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that traffic fatalities are 14 percent higher through the first six months of this year compared to same period in 2014. Traffic fatalities were up in every month from January through June. The surge in traffic accidents is likely an effect of an improving economy and much lower gas prices with more people logging more miles for work related and leisure travel.

In Florida, the accident statistics for the first half of 2015 show a 29 percent increase in traffic fatalities compared to a year ago; the second highest percentage increase in traffic deaths of any state and more than double the national figure. When gas prices are down, more families take vacation trips by car and the beaches near Palm Coast are among Florida’s most popular vacation destinations.

The NSC projects that 2015 may be the most deadly year for vehicle accidents since 2007.

Car Accidents Frequently Caused by Driver Distraction

Unfortunately, more than 1,440 people have died in accidents across Florida and thousands more suffered injuries requiring emergency medical treatment during the first half of 2015. Many of those accidents were preventable and caused by the inattention, distraction or an error by the driver.

Distracted drivers using a cell phone, navigation system, eating or grooming cause many traffic accidents. Accidents involving distracted driving have increased by 25 percent since 2012, according to the Florida Department of Transportation. To curb distracted driving, the Florida Department of Transportation in cooperation with GEICO insurance announced 64 safe phone zones at various rest areas, welcome centers, and service plazas, and posted signs designating them as safe places to use a mobile phone. Here is a map of the safe phone zones.

Volusia County had 90 traffic fatalities in 2013, and a third of those were motorcyclists. Meanwhile, Flagler County had 16 traffic deaths and six of those fatalities involved an impaired driver.

Alcohol-related crashes are all preventable accidents caused by a driver’s irresponsible decision to drink and then drive. If you are planning to party at the beach, it’s important to designate a sober driver when the occasion involves consuming alcohol.

When behind the wheel, remain focused on the task at hand, practice defensive driving and remain alert for potential road hazards that could cause a crash. Allow a safe distance of several car lengths between you and the car in front so that you have time to brake if the driver in front stops suddenly.

Contact Palm Coast Car Accident Lawyer

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident caused by another motorist Palm Coast, Ormond Beach or anywhere in Flagler or Volusia County, talk to an experienced car accident lawyer about your legal rights. Let the attorneys at Chiumento Selis Dwyer review the specifics of the accident at no charge and explain your legal rights. We will work aggressively to help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to so you can make a full recovery.