Car crashes happen every day. Across the country, unfortunately, many of these crashes result in death.
In Alabama, they happen more often than almost every other state.
According to Yellowhammer News and Safewise, a national data organization, Alabama’s fatality rate for car crashes is 21.3 deaths per 100,000 people – a rate second only to Mississippi, and over twice the national average (11.6 deaths per 100,000 people).
In a state where the population is 4.88 million, that means 1,038 people are expected to die in Alabama this year in car accidents.
Why is our rate so high? Yellowhammer News explains the phenomenon with two observations:
- Alabama, along with Mississippi, does not have a statewide law banning handheld cell phones while driving.
- Drivers in Alabama are more distracted; police have issued just 38 tickets per 100,000 for texting and driving. New York’s death rate is just 5.2 per 100,000 people and they issued 11,996 tickets per 100,000 people for texting and driving.
The conclusion is that tougher laws and their enforcement are both needed to make roads safer for Alabama drivers and passengers.
Case in point: the minimum fine for texting and driving in Alabama is just $25 per ticket. That’s one of the lowest rates in the nation, above only a few states that have no texting and driving laws.
How to Reduce Fatal Car Accidents
In an in-depth study, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) provided a blueprint for policy makers on how to reduce the number of deadly car wrecks. They pointed to six different pillars of better policy that can help lower fatality rates:
- National programs and target-setting with partnerships with states
- Safer driving behavior
- Safer vehicles and roads
- Safer pedestrians and other vulnerable road users
- Education, training, and publicity
- Data systems to provide better metrics
Alabama can do better to improve in each of these categories. Tougher laws, in conjunction with harsher punishments and better safety education to the public, can help lower fatalities.
Using data to analyze accident hotspots and trends can allow state and local law enforcement to better position themselves, something Colorado successfully implemented a few years back.
Lastly, having better roads and highways can help reduce fatal accidents, which means better transportation funding.
Alabama can come a long away from the bottom if politicians and the public take car accidents seriously and do whatever they can to lower our sky-high fatality rate.
If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in a car accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Wettermark Keith. Taking action today can lead to a better tomorrow.