USDOT Releases 2016 Fatal Traffic Crash Data

photo_39856_20150805-300x199On October 6th, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released fatal crash data for 2016. NHTSA data reports a 5.6% rise in traffic fatalities from 2015. Collected from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, data shows that 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads and highways in 2016 and equates to 102 traffic related fatalities, per day. An enormous 94% of serious crashes are related to human error, or human choice. At Tapalian Law, we are personal injury lawyers who pride ourselves on fighting hard to help victims of auto accidents in Providence and the surrounding communities. We make it our duty to seek the just compensation our personal injury clients deserve.

Drunk Driving Crashes Continue to Cause Biggest Number of Fatalities

It comes as no surprise that the biggest culprit of auto accidents deaths is drunk driving, as this has long been the trend. Speeding-related crash fatalities closely follow behind drunk driving deaths. The NHTSA continually creates programs with the goal of expanding awareness of the acute risk of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Alcohol-related fatalities in 2016 continue to account for a third of all motor vehicle deaths, following the trends of 2015 and 2014. Astoundingly, these accidents accounted for 10,497 deaths in the U.S. in 2016. This is especially tragic as drunk driving crashes are completely preventable. Impaired motorcycle drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher accounted for the type of vehicle most frequently involved in these types of accidents, followed closely by passenger cars and light trucks. The age groups most often responsible for these fatal alcohol-related accidents were ages 21-24 and ages 25-34.

Besides alcohol, other reckless behaviors including speeding and not wearing a seat belt both experienced an uptick. Pedestrian deaths increased by a whopping 9%, the highest number of fatalities, 5,987, since 1990. Bicyclist deaths also saw the largest number of fatalities since 1991. The NHTSA report does not state the exact reason for the jump in pedestrian deaths but we may question whether there is a correlation between the up rise in distracted walking and pedestrian traffic deaths. Motorcyclist deaths also experienced an upsurge of 5%, the largest number of motorcyclist fatalities since 2008.  On a more positive note, distraction-related deaths, and drowsy-driving fatalities both decreased. The NHTSA continues its work on helping to address the human choices that account for so many of these traffic accidents and related fatalities. They also continue to promote new automotive technologies that can potentially contribute to reducing or eliminating the human error involved in operating a motor vehicle, as Tapalian Law explored in a recent blog post.

A Rhode Island Auto Accident Lawyer Can Assist You After a Fatal Car Crash

Sadly, these statistics do not come as a big surprise to us as personal injury attorneys who witness the aftermath of car crashes and their ensuing injuries daily. At Tapalian Law, we advocate for the victims of these tragic crashes and understand the confusion and complexity that follows a vehicle accident, whether related to drunk driving, speeding, or another form of reckless driving. Getting hurt, or having a loved one seriously injured, can be an extremely emotional time for you and your family. The untimely loss of a loved one in an accident can be extremely stressful and deeply trying. Though there is nothing that can return a loved one to us, or take away the pain caused by severe car accident injuries, your right to seek compensation with a wrongful death claim or personal injury claim for someone else’s wrongs can assist you during this emotional time. The Providence personal injury attorney’s at Tapalian Law understand the very difficult process victims and their families go through after an accident. We can help you. We will fight for your rights while you focus on recovery. Call us today for a free consultation at


or complete our online form. Attorney David Tapalian will contact you right away and will listen closely to the circumstances of your case and let you know how we can help you.

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