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Car accident fatality numbers are worse than many people realize

Posted by Joseph F. Sullivan | Apr 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

Numerous dangers exist for drivers on Brooklyn roadways, regardless of their age, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) traffic death statistics reflect this fact. Nevertheless, there are many car accident fatalities that are not included in the annual NHTSA death toll that drivers normally look at. These accidents commonly occur off the roads, on private roadways and/or in driveways. Even worse, many of them involve small children who are backed over by distracted drivers.

According to NHTSA figures, approximately 34,000 people died in roadway crashes in 2012. The previous year saw approximately 32,000 deaths, and the year before that approximately 33,000. These figures, however, do not include the people who lost their lives in what the NHTSA calls Not-in-Traffic Accidents. While the number of not-in-traffic motor vehicle deaths is not large in comparison to in-traffic crashes, it is important to consider these figures from the perspective of pedestrian and child safety.

Indeed, from 2008 until 2011, nearly 6,500 people died from not-in-traffic collisions. These types of incidents include parking lot crashes, single-car crashes on private property and pedestrians getting run over in driveways. They also include incidents of car exhaust poisoning and vehicles crushing people by falling on them. Perhaps the most distressing fact, however, is that nearly 13 percent of these fatal car accident victims are young children below 5 years of age, and nearly half of those toddlers are killed after a motor vehicle backs over them in a driveway.

Children are particularly vulnerable to back-over crashes caused by distracted drivers, mainly because they are small and under the field of vision of rearview mirrors. Nevertheless, it is a Brooklyn driver's responsibility to watch out for pedestrians, no matter how big they are. In many fatal pedestrian car accident cases, the driver can be held liable for the loss of life that occurs. While there is no way that a civil court case can bring back a loved one lost in such an unfortunate incident, relatives of victims may be able to seek restitution for pain and suffering and the various financial costs that resulted from the crash.

Source:, "The Death Toll From Cars Is Even Higher Than You Thought", Tanya Snyder, April 21, 2014

About the Author

Joseph F. Sullivan

Born in Jamaica, Queens to working class parents, Joseph Sullivan became the second member of his family to attend college and the first to obtain an advanced degree. He graduated cum laude from Temple University School of Law. While there, he was a writer and editor of the Temple Law Review. ...


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