The U.S. Department of Transportation recently reported that motor vehicle deaths dropped in 2009 to the lowest level since 1950.
A 9.7 percent overall decrease in deaths caused by auto accidents from 2008 to 2009 covered a variety of motor vehicles and related auto accident injuries, including:
- Motorcycle accident fatalities decreased by 24%, breaking an 11-year upwards trend
- Passenger car occupant fatalities declined by 13%
- Truck accident deaths dropped 26%
- Alcohol-impaired driving deaths fell 7.4%
The total number of motor vehicle injuries decreased from 2.35 million in 2008 to 2.2 million in 2009. The U.S. Department of Transportation report suggested several reasons for the overall declines in traffic-related injuries and deaths, including:
- The state of the economy – People may be carpooling, using public transportation or alternative methods of transportation (bicycling) to cut down on motor vehicle costs, such as gas, vehicle maintenance, insurance, and even parking costs.
- A rise in unemployment – Fewer people overall are commuting or have a need to travel to a job. Additionally, less money earned means less financial ability to go out to restaurants, shopping centers, or entertainment.
- Improvements in vehicle design – Recent vehicle product recalls, stiff fines and close public attention to auto manufacturers may have created safer vehicles.
- Highway safety programs – Awareness of traffic safety may be heightened by increased and improved safety campaigns and programs.
In 2009, Michigan auto accident deaths declined by 11 percent, or 1.3 percent over the national average. The total number of fatalities dropped from 980 to 871, with the greatest decline of 13 percent found in alcohol-impaired driving deaths.
Despite the state and nation-wide decline in auto accident deaths, there are still thousands of Michigan car accident victims suffering from injuries.
The Sam Bernstein Law Firm supports Michigan traffic safety and awareness, and protecting your rights. If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a Michigan auto accident, contact an experienced Michigan car accident lawyer for a free, confidential legal consultation immediately.