Rhode Island Traffic Fatalities Up 63% in 2017

photo_39856_20150805-300x199Rhode Island traffic fatalities are at their highest since 2008, with 83 traffic related fatalities seen in the state in 2017. This is a jump from 51 traffic deaths seen in 2016 and 2014 in Rhode Island. Ironically, 2015 saw the lowest number of traffic fatalities in RI, 45, since 1992 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). With increased auto safety features and public awareness campaigns about safer driving practices, one would expect to continually see a decrease in injuries and deaths from car accidents each year. So, it is alarming to see an uptick of 63% in just one year. As Providence car accident lawyers who see first-hand the pain and trauma caused to the injured and families of auto accident victims, we are left wondering why the increase in motor vehicle fatalities in 2017?

Reasons for Increase in RI Traffic Fatalities

Just as there are a multitude of reasons for car crashes, there are many causes for fatal car accidents and not one cause can be pinpointed. Although we do know that drunk driving, speeding, and distracted driving top the list of causes all over the country. Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, the commanding officer of the Rhode Island State Police, will not cite a particular reason for the increased number of RI traffic deaths but emphasizes the importance of drivers being vigilant about driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, wearing seat belts, and avoiding distractions like cell phones. As many Rhode Islanders know, cell phone usage while driving with be outlawed as of June 2018 in Rhode Island. Though we can not predict if this will realize a decrease in traffic fatalities, it may bring extra awareness to the serious issue of distracted driving.

Auto Related Deaths Across the Country

Nationally, 2017 saw an increase in traffic fatalities all over the country. The NHTSA released data in October 2017 showing that almost 37,500 people lost their lives to auto accidents in 2016, which was an increase of 5.6 percent from 2015. Speeding related deaths increased by 4% and deaths due to failure to wear a seat belt were up 4.6%. Pedestrian deaths saw their biggest jump since 1990, increasing 9%. Deaths caused by alcohol impairment also jumped in 2016. In response to this increase, Rhode Island State Police launched a moving campaign to address drunk driving prior to the beginning of 2017. The campaign, “#BeyondtheCrash”, showed RI state troopers discussing the trauma inflicted by driving under the influence. Unfortunately, as we know all too well at Tapalian Law, drivers continue to drive under the influence as well as speed and operate their vehicles with a multitude of distractions resulting in unfortunate and completely preventable, personal injury and death to other drivers across Rhode Island.

Have You Been Hurt in a RI Traffic Accident?

If you, or a loved one, have been injured in a car accident in Providence or elsewhere in Rhode Island due to the negligent actions of another vehicle operator, seek out the experience of a skilled Providence car accident attorney. Tapalian Law will review the details of your auto accident case and give you their honest advice about seeking restitution for your injuries. We only get paid if you get rewarded compensation for your legal case.  If you have lost a loved one in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, such as a drunk driver, a speeding driver, or a distracted driver, you, or an eligible family member may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at fault driver to seek compensation on behalf of your loved one. Although nothing can bring back a loved one or lessen the pain of losing a family member, being rewarded compensation for your loss can assist in paying funeral expenses and other costs associated with your loss. To see if you are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, consult a well-practiced injury attorney at Tapalian Law in Providence. We have helped countless clients recover compensation for auto-related injuries and fatalities in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Do not wait to consult us for advice on your personal injury or wrongful death case. Call Attorney David Tapalian today at


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