NHTSA Summit Explores Alarming Rise in Traffic Fatalities | Ellis Injury Law

NHTSA Summit Explores Alarming Rise in Traffic Fatalities

UCLA Football player crash

March 14, 2016

Ellis Law Corporation


A two-day summit was held at the Washington, DC headquarters of the U.S. Department of Transportation on March 10 and 11 to address what officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have referred to as an alarming rise in traffic fatalities in several parts of the country.

Preliminary research suggests that the number of traffic deaths in 2015 may represent an increase of close to 10 percent over the prior year.

Summit explores strategies to improve traffic safety

The NHTSA summit featured a series of transportation, public health and infrastructure experts from the U.S. and around the world, all of whom are working to develop solutions to the root causes of increased driving-related deaths. It is believed that driver behavior is a contributing factor in over 9 out of every 10 crashes on the roads, and speakers at the summit are focusing on innovative ways to curb the most problematic habits.

Whether caused by driving under the influence, becoming distracted by a cell phone or failing to wear seat belts, the most prevalent behaviors responsible for deadly accidents in the United States must be addressed by initiatives developed by law enforcement officials, traffic safety experts and others, according to NTHSA head Mark Rosekind. Some of those speaking at the conference asserted that the key to curbing dangerous behind-the-wheel activity is to encourage a societal shift in what is considered appropriate behavior, much as the widespread changes in thinking that have occurred with regard to cigarette smoking, recycling and the like.

Other suggestions aimed at reducing the sorts of behaviors that frequently lead to car accidents include early intervention with young drivers who seem inordinately predisposed to engaging in them, as well as the use of vehicle automation techniques which might mitigate the risk engendered by certain types of driver actions.

Negligent motorists and legal liability

While criminal penalties for dangerous decisions made behind the wheel are important deterrents, that is not to say that individuals engaging in such behavior should be allowed to escape civil liability for the harm they cause to others.

Court-imposed fines, license suspensions and terms of incarceration certainly have an important role to play in reducing the risk to innocent motorists. It is critical for everyone to realize that the law also affords the victims of negligent drivers the opportunity to pursue compensation through filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Damages recovered in litigation can include:

  • Medical expenses, both now and into the future

  • Lost wages and lost earning capacity

  • Pain, suffering and emotional distress

  • Disfigurement

  • Loss of marital and familial relationships

  • Funeral expenses

Everyone who takes to the roadways has a duty to operate their vehicle with caution and care, and when an individual breaches that duty, those who suffer serious injuries and other losses are entitled to seek significant compensation with the help of a personal injury lawyer.

Advocacy for accident victims in Los Angeles

Negligent driving has the potential to result in catastrophic injury and death, leaving entire families on the brink of collapse. At Ellis Law, our Los Angeles car accident lawyers are committed to providing our clients with aggressive advocacy to help ensure the financial recovery they need and deserve.

If your or a loved one have been harmed by the reckless driving of another and would like to speak with a personal injury attorney at our firm, please call 310-641-3335. The case review is free and we only collect our fees if you win or settle your claim.