Unsafe driving behaviors threaten Alabama's holiday shoppers

With the official kickoff of the holiday season upon us, some shoppers may find themselves defending against the unsafe habits of other drivers on Alabama's roads and highways. Unfortunately, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that negligent driving may result from more than just hurried shoppers battling traffic congestion.

NHTSA officials believe that a number of factors may be contributing to unsafe driving conditions, including drowsy, drugged, drunk and distracted driving. Speeding also remains a concern, as do drivers who fail to use seat belts. In fact, around half of fatalities involving vehicle occupants in 2014 were individuals who were not wearing seat belts. In addition, there were a number of safety recalls in 2014, such as the GM ignition switch recall.

Specifically, motor vehicle crash fatalities in the first six months of 2015 are up by 4.4 percent from the same period in 2014, and the estimate for the rest of 2015 is an increase of around 8.1 percent. Drunk driving accidents accounted for about one-third of those fatalities, and speeding was an issue in about one-quarter of the traffic crash fatalities.  

The NHSTA has launched several initiatives in recent months to combat what the agency characterizes as deadly behavior on America's roads. Until enforcement and education efforts eliminate the problem, however, a victim injured by another driver's negligence may need the help of a personal injury law firm to protect his or her rights.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "NHTSA plans nationwide planning sessions to strengthen behavioral safety efforts," Derrell Lyles, Nov. 24, 2015

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