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2016 was a particularly deadly year for car accidents

Driving is always dangerous, no matter how seriously you might take your own duties behind the wheel. Even if you remain fully alert and engaged with your surroundings and your driving behavior at all times, you may still experience a car accident at just about any time. According to the latest data released by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), driving was even more dangerous in 2016 than many years before, and some of those trends may not level out in the years ahead.

According to USDOT, 2016 was an exceptionally dangerous year for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists, with each of these categories seeing the highest number of fatalities in a single year in several decades.

Pedestrian fatalities increased by 9 percent over 2015, up to 5,987 fatalities in 2016 alone. This makes 2016 the deadliest year for pedestrians in car accidents since 1990. Similarly, bicycle riders suffered 840 fatalities in 2016, which is the highest number of fatalities in this category since 1991. Motorcyclists also suffered significantly, with 5,286 fatalities, the highest number of motorcycle fatalities since 2008.

While it is only a small consolation, both distracted-driving deaths and drowsy-driving deaths decreased in 2016, but it remains to be seen how 2017 fairs in comparison.

Your behavior behind the wheel is crucial to the well-being of yourself and many others around you. Unfortunately, you cannot control the choices or misfortune of others, and may still suffer serious injury or even die because of others' actions. If you or someone you love face serious harm from a car accident, don't hesitate to seek out the help you need to pursue fair compensation and focus on your recovery while keeping your rights protected.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "U.S. DOT releases 2016 fatal crash data," accessed Jan. 12, 2018

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