Fatal Traffic Accidents Rise in the United States in 2012

The U.S. Department of Transportation reported an increase in the number of people who died in fatal traffic accidents last year. A news article published in USA Today said most of the increases were crashes involving motorcyclists and pedestrians.Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stressed our nation's need to “focus efforts to tackle persistent issues that threaten the safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians."

The article went on to say there was a 3% increase in deaths in 2012 although Americans drove the same number of miles as in the previous year. The upticks in fatal crashes involved vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and bicyclists. But, more motorcyclists and large-truck occupants died in accidents last year on U.S. roads, as well.

Tragically, a rise in the number of crashes involving drunken drivers was also reported in 2012. Jan Withers, National President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), called the 4.6% increase in DUI crash deaths “alarming.” Withers urged the thirty states without ignition interlock devices for anyone convicted of drunken driving to pass them.

Florida statutes require the courts to order ignition interlock devices for first time convicted drunk drivers with a Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) of 0.15 or greater and for repeat offenders. But, the fight goes on to deter would-be drunken drivers.

Anyone who continues to think they can drink and drive need to know there are consequences for their actions both criminally and civilly.

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