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New Crash Data Shows Progress in Traffic Safety

Posted on Dec 17, 2012

Legal expert and accident attorney Chris Davis provides commentary on recently-released data from the NHTSA regarding car accident trends in the United States, which shows that drunk driving deaths reached an all-time low in 2011.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released car accident data that showed the number of deaths on American highways in 2011 fell 1.9 percent from 2010 to a total of 32,367 – the lowest recorded level since 1949. The NHTSA also found that the fatality rate in 2011 was the lowest on record at 1.10 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

But to DUI victims’ rights attorney Chris Davis, the statistic that stood out most was the 2.5 percent decline in all alcohol-related traffic fatalities in 2011. A news release from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) says the 9,878 DUI-related fatalities last year is the first time in history that this number has fallen below 10,000.

“The fact that alcohol-related traffic deaths have reached an all-time low is clearly a sign that we are making progress in the fight against drunk driving,” says Davis, the founder and principal attorney at the Davis Law Group in Seattle. “And while thousands of people were still killed as a result of this devastating crime last year, I do find some comfort in knowing we are taking steps forward.”

Overall, Americans drove fewer total miles in 2011 than they did in 2010, which the NHTSA believes played a factor in the resulting decline. But the decreased rate in fatalities per miles driven is still a key indicator of the positive impact that organizations like MADD have on the drunk driving epidemic in this country.

The NHTSA’s report showed that there was a significant reduction in the number of people being injured in traffic accidents in 2011. But there were also increases in fatalities related to large truck accidents, pedal-cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists, which have essentially served as a reality-check for those celebrating the improvements in traffic safety.

“In the past several decades, we’ve seen remarkable improvements in both the way motorists behave on our roadways and in the safety of the vehicles they drive, and we’re confident that NHTSA’s 5-Star Safety Ratings Program and nationwide collaborations like ‘Click It or Ticket’ and ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ have played a key role in making our roads safer,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland in a news release. “Even as we celebrate the progress we’ve made in recent years, we must remain focused on addressing the safety issues that are continuing to claim more than 30,000 lives each year.”

As a public service to Washington state residents, Mr. Davis began publishing the Washington Accident Books in 2007 to provide legal insight to accident victims and their families. In celebration of the five-year anniversary of “The Ten Biggest Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Washington Accident Case,” Davis is announcing the re-release of the book in hopes of providing legal information to more Washington accident victims.

About Chris Davis

Christopher M. Davis, founder of the Davis Law Group, has been a licensed attorney in the state of Washington since 1993. He has tried dozens of personal injury cases to verdict and has successfully handled and resolved hundreds of accident claims. He has been a Washington ‘Super Lawyer' for seven years in a row for his expertise and success in litigating personal injury claims. You can learn more about the firm by visiting: