U.S. and New York Car Accident Deaths Continue Steady Decline

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NY attorney David Resnick applauds progress but says there are still too many preventable automobile accidents.

As the economy improves, more traffic will be on the highways, and it will be difficult to sustain this trend if motorists aren’t vigilant. Drivers need to keep their eyes on the road, their hands on the wheel and put away cell phones....

The number of highway deaths showed a significant decline last year, but drivers should never become complacent to driving hazards as they hit the highway for a summer vacation road trip or even a short drive across town, says New York attorney David Resnick.

“The decline in traffic fatalities is certainly an encouraging trend, but far too many people are still dying in highway accidents,” says Resnick, founding partner of David Resnick & Associates, P.C. “More than 30,000 people lost their lives in traffic accidents last year, and certainly, many of those were preventable.”

In March, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that the number of traffic fatalities reported at the end of 2009 reached the lowest level since 1954, declining for the 15th consecutive quarter. Preliminary fatality data for 2009 places the highway death count at 33,963, a drop of 8.9 percent, compared to 37,261 deaths in 2008.

According to early projections, the U.S highway fatality rate, which takes into account the number of miles traveled, reached the lowest level ever in 2009, the Department of Transportation said.

“As the economy improves, more traffic will be on the highways, and it will be difficult to sustain this trend if motorists aren’t vigilant,” Resnick said. “Drivers need to keep their eyes on the road, their hands on the wheel and put away cell phones and mobile communication devices.”

Resnick noted that cell phones are cited in an increasing number of accident reports as the primary source of driver distraction. Nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted driver, and more than 500,000 people were injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“This is a serious problem that traffic laws are just starting to address,” Resnick said. “Certainly, higher usage of seat belts and tougher enforcement of drunken driving laws have helped save many lives and reduced fatalities.”

New York laws ban texting while driving and also prohibit the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving.

From 1998 to 2008, New York State has recorded a 46 percent decline in traffic fatalities from 2,263 to 1,224, according to New York’s 2009 Highway Safety Annual Report.

About David Resnick & Associates, P.C.

David Resnick & Associates, P.C. is a well-respected accident and personal injury firm in New York City. The firm handles automobile accident and injury claims in New York City’s five boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. For more information or for a free, no-obligation case consultation, call (212) 279-2000 or visit http://www.injuryclaimnyclaw.com/.

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