The National Safety Council estimates there were 40,100 automotive fatalities in the U.S. in 2017. For the second consecutive year, this number reached over 40,000; in 2016 the estimated total was 40,327. Despite this small decline, statistics show that overall car crash deaths are on the rise. The 2017 estimate is six percent higher than that of 2016 and it is the most dramatic two-year increase in more than 50 years.
The estimates were released by the National Safety Council (NSC), an organization that seeks to eliminate preventable deaths through leadership, research, education and advocacy. The official figures will be released later this year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an organization that aims to reduce deaths, injuries and economic losses from motor vehicle crashes by enforcing vehicle performance standards and partnerships with state and local governments.
The estimated cost of motor vehicle deaths, injuries and property damages in 2017 was $413.8 billion, a mere one percent decrease from 2016. There were 1,205 motor vehicle deaths in Pennsylvania in 2015 compared to 1,189 motor vehicle deaths in 2016, and 1,141 in 2017. Although this is an improvement, the NSC President and CEO says that the only acceptable number is zero and that more needs action needs to be taken to improve roadway safety.
Although car safety has been continually improving with technology such as collision avoidance systems, other factors such as distracted driving, drugged or drowsy driving, speeding and lack of seatbelt usage have been contributing to motor vehicle fatalities. The NSC has issued several recommendations to ensure safer roads, including that drivers: be aware of these dangers; practice defensive and attentive driving; fix recalls immediately; and learn how to properly use their vehicles’ safety systems.
Wrongful Death in Pennsylvania
When someone is killed due to someone else’s negligence, their survivors may be entitled to damages including funeral, burial, hospital, medical and estate administration expenses, as well as lost wages and benefits and compensation for loss of household services, society comfort and support and pain and suffering.
To recover damages, surviving family members must file a wrongful death suit. In Pennsylvania, the wrongful death claim must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. It is brought on behalf of the beneficiaries of the estate and must be brought within six months from the date of death. If the personal representative fails to file the claim within that time, any of the beneficiaries may file the claim on behalf of all the beneficiaries instead. According to Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the deceased person’s death.
Delaware County Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Assist Families in Filing Wrongful Death Claims
If your loved one was fatally injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligent behavior, contact a Delaware County car accident lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. Our skilled and experienced attorneys can help you file a wrongful death suit, so you can obtain the financial compensation to which you are entitled. We represent clients throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, including those in Delaware County, Chester County and Montgomery County. To arrange a free consultation in our Media or West Chester offices, contact us online or call us at 610-565-3701 today.