Marlton, NJ (PRWEB) January 11, 2013
Deaths from motor vehicle accidents across the country continue to decline to historic lows over the last 10 years, while firearm fatalities have steadily climbed over the same period. A new study compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and reported on by USA Today shows that in several states, including Arizona, Michigan, and Colorado, the rate of deaths linked to firearms has exceeded those connected to traffic accidents. In Pennsylvania, where CDC data shows the rate of gun and traffic-related fatalities are equal, personal injury lawyer Richard P. Console Jr. calls for greater safety measures, but also advises viewing the data with some perspective in mind.
“I guess we can throw out the adage that guns are somehow safer than cars,” he said before adding, “The trends in the data are the result of better safety education for drivers, improvements to automobiles to reduce injuries, and successful enforcement actions by authorities at all levels. Statistics can also be misleading, and a closer look at gun-related fatalities is necessary before anyone can make definite statements about safety one way or the other.”
In 2010, the CDC reports the rate of firearm deaths across the nation was 10 people per 100,000, while the rate for traffic deaths was 12 per 100,000. Deaths linked to guns totaled 31,672 in 2010, according to the report. Meanwhile, traffic-related fatalities fell by 2 percent in 2011 to reach the lowest death total since 1949 – 32,367, according to the report. While cars still kill more people than guns, the data points to a converging rate of occurrence between the two totals, which could reportedly signal the success of safety measures on one side, and failures on another. Console, whose Philadelphia law firm has represented more than 5,000 accident victims, points out that certain types of fatal accidents are still increasing despite lower overall numbers.
“Distracted driving is still a massive problem in our country and the number of fatalities associated with it continues to rise,” he said. “Bicyclists and pedestrians have also seen more fatal accidents than other groups. There’s no question that our roadways are safer, but we’re by no means out of the woods in terms of eliminating serious accidents. More than thirty-thousand people died last year in crashes involving motor vehicles. That’s still a significant number in my mind.”
Multiple outlets, including the CDC, the National Rifle Association, and the National Academies of Science's National Research Council, reportedly continue to spar over the accuracy of the data with each group presenting numbers to trump the other, according to USA Today.
Richard P. Console Jr. is the managing partner of Console & Hollawell P.C. Since 1994, the firm’s award-winning attorneys have represented personal injury victims across Pennsylvania, including the families of those who lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents.