During the first six months of 2015, 381 people were killed in car wrecks on Alabama roads. That's according to a report by the National Safety Council, which says the United States is on pace for the deadliest driving year since 2007.
As an attorney who handles car accident claims, Dean Waite understands the trauma victims and loved ones face after serious crashes. Our firm wants to send a loud and clear message to all motorists that safety is a Number One priority on our roads. One fatal car wreck a year is one too many. It's critical for drivers to avoid distractions, stay sober and alert. If you are careless or reckless behind the wheel, you risk destroying your own life and the lives of others.
The National Safety Council's report, released in August 2015, examines fatalities during the first half of the year and comes to a grim conclusion: Traffic deaths nationwide are 14 percent higher over the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2014.
Closer to home in Alabama, 381 people died in traffic accidents between January and June 2015. During the same length of time a year earlier, 412 people died, which represents an 8 percent decline in Alabama road fatalities.
The drop in fatalities certainly represents a positive trend. Alabama is bucking the national trend, which reveals traffic fatalities to be creeping upward.
Responsibilities of Drivers
Steps to make sure you are a safe driver include:
- Designating a sober driver or calling a friend or cab if you have been drinking or you are impaired
- Being well rested and taking breaks to avoid falling asleep while driving
- Keeping the cell phone out of reach
- Avoiding use of hands-free devices, as studies show that simply talking on a device can create a distraction
- Observing the rules of the road (don't speed or ignore stop signs or traffic lights)
You also should speak with your teenage drivers about developing and maintaining good habits behind the wheel. A study finds that one-tenth of drivers under 20 involved in fatal accidents were reported as being distracted at the time of the wreck. Also, drivers in their 20s comprise 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal accidents. And 25 percent of teens answer a text message one or more time every time they drive.
At Dean Waite & Associates, LLC, we have represented injured people whose lives were turned upside down through no fault of their own. We know that a reckless or careless action can result in permanent disabilities, brain injuries, spinal cord damage and other serious conditions. These losses lead to significant medical bills and lost wages.
It's up to drivers to make responsible decisions behind the wheel. By making the right choices, Alabama can be a safe place for everyone - motorists, motorcycle riders, pedestrians, cyclists and others using the roads.