For the last several years, nationwide traffic fatalities have declined; however, the Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Quarter (January – March) of 2012 shows that deaths on U.S. roadways are now on the rise.
Over these three months, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 7,630 people died in auto accidents. While this statistic is an estimate, it is already significantly higher than the previous first-quarter numbers for 2011 (6,720 fatalities) – an increase of 13.5%.
The first-quarter numbers have declined by about 30 percent from 2006 to 2011 (from 9,558 traffic deaths in 2006 to 6,720 fatalities in 2011). While the 2012 first-quarter estimate is lower than the reported fatalities in 2006, it is still an increase from the prior year.
NHTSA indicates that the first-quarter numbers are typically lower than the rates from the other following quarters. Since this first-quarter number is higher than the previous year, NHTSA believes that this year could represent the second largest year-to-year quarterly increase in traffic deaths.
What Can Floridians Do?
According to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), Floridians need to stop driving aggressively. During February to May, troopers were involved in a safe driving campaign – to stop aggressive driving and decrease auto accidents in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and throughout Florida.
During these months, the FHP gave out over 2,000 citations for aggressive driving, which is defined at motorists who speed, follow too closely, and change lanes improperly.
Our Tampa auto accident attorneys also encourage all drivers in Florida to reduce the number of traffic accidents and fatalities by not driving aggressively and by following the road rules.