Michigan Transportation Institute sees rise in traffic fatalities

While many types of negligence lead to personal injuries, one of the most frequent and most harmful causes is motor vehicle accidents. The extreme forces and violence of car, truck and motorcycle accidents are all too frequently severe enough to cause the death of injury victims.

Recent data from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) shows an increase in traffic fatalities nationwide despite continued advances in vehicle safety. Year-to-year statistics reveal an eight percent increase in traffic fatalities between 2011 and 2012 after several years of decreases.

One potential cause is the upturn in the national economy, which means that people drive more and even drive faster in some cases due to reduced concerns about fuel economy. A host of other factors play a role, including an increased likelihood of truck accidents due to more semis moving an increased flow of goods and materials as the economy heats up.

While transportation analysts note that airbags, stability control systems and other crash avoidance technologies certainly make driving safer for drivers and passengers alike, accident rate reductions in recent years can best be attributed to the simple fact of fewer cars on the road.

Looking forward, UMTRI is touting vehicle-to-vehicle communication as the next great threshold of technological progress toward accident prevention. Using sensors and integrated control systems, cars are now being tested that can quickly react to imminent hazards without the driver's input. A pilot project in Ann Arbor is equipping thousands of vehicles to better understand the effectiveness of this technology.

Every decade brings new highway hazards and solutions, from increased use of electronic distractions on one side to stricter drunk driving enforcement on the other. Independent of all of those factors, an individual who suffers a serious injury in a car crash deserves immediate help and dependable legal remedies. A Michigan car accident attorney can explain the many factors behind securing compensation for injury victims and wrongful death survivors.