I look at every life lost in a motor vehicle accident as a tragedy, regardless of the risk factors.
Marlton, NJ (PRWEB) November 27, 2012
Crash data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration* (NHTSA) is shining a light on a curious wrinkle on a macabre topic – deadly traffic accidents. As it turns out, states traditionally considered red and blue for their presidential voting tendencies also have stark differences in the occurrences of fatal traffic-related crashes, according to information released by the NHTSA.* Red states, those carried by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the November election, have reportedly much higher rates of fatal crashes per 100,000 people than blue states, those won by President Barack Obama. In Philadelphia, a traditionally blue city, accident attorney Richard P. Console Jr. is taking the national data with a pinch of skepticism.
“No one is able to explain why red states have higher crash fatality rates than blue states,” said Console. “I look at every life lost in a motor vehicle accident as a tragedy, regardless of the risk factors. The strategies needed to prevent these deaths are common across all demographics. The data is interesting, but what can it do to save lives that a seatbelt couldn’t do better?”
Red states occupy all top 10 spots in the NHTSA’s* analysis of traffic-related deaths per 100,000 people. Wyoming is in the lead with 27.46 deaths per 100,000 despite only having a total number of 155 deaths on its roadways in 2010. In last, or safest, place is Washington D.C. with 3.97 deaths per 100,000 and a total of 24 accident deaths during the same year.
The first blue state on the NHTSA* list, New Mexico, is in 11th place with 16.75 deaths per 100,000. The state saw nearly triple the number of accident-related deaths than Wyoming, but its larger total population kept the ratio down when it came to ranking all 50 states. Console, whose firm of Philadelphia injury lawyers has helped more than 5,000 clients since 1994, sees population as a more reliable indicator of collision risks than politics.
“I think population and the number of drivers on the road skews this information,” he said. “States with lower populations generally are red. Those numbers alone can artificially increase the ratio of accident deaths and lead to presumptions about safety. I’ve been representing accident victims in Philadelphia for a long time. I wouldn’t consider drivers in that city at lower risk than Wyoming or Montana, when there are nearly more people living in Philly than both of those states combined.”
The national average in 2010 for traffic accident deaths per 100,000 was 10.63, according to the NHTSA.* In total, 32,885 people died on U.S. roads during that year, the lowest figure reported since 1994.
Richard P. Console Jr. is the managing partner of Console & Hollawell P.C. The firm exclusively handles personal injury matters representing clients of all types across Pennsylvania, including car crash victims.