Auto Accident Attorney Robert Alston Encouraged by Drop in Fatal Auto Accidents in 2013

Law Firm Newswire



Zephyrhills, FL (Law Firm Newswire) January 29, 2014 – In the Tampa region and across several states, preliminary figures for traffic deaths in 2013 are the lowest in decades.

According to a preliminary report from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), the number of fatal crashes in Hillsborough County in 2013 (through December 25) dropped nearly 25 percent from 2012. Estimates in New Jersey, Ohio and other states show traffic deaths at the lowest levels recorded since at least the 1940s.

“The continuing decline in fatal auto accidents is very encouraging,” said Zephyrhills personal injury attorney Robert Alston. “Many factors are to credit for the trend, including vehicle safety systems, law enforcement and safety awareness campaigns.”

The FHP says that Hillsborough County saw 129 fatal auto accidents through December 25, 2013. That figure represents a decline of nearly 25 percent and the lowest number in 35 years (and, at that time, the county’s population was about half what it is today). Traffic deaths in Pinellas and Pasco counties dropped 21 percent and 11 percent, respectively, in the same time frame.

Traffic deaths across the three counties have declined since hitting a peak of 374 in 2006.

Experts attribute the drop partly to elevated unemployment, which has left fewer commuters on the roads.

Early estimates from several other states are perhaps even more encouraging. Ohio recorded 982 motorist and pedestrian deaths in 2013, and New Jersey reported 542 traffic deaths. Both of those numbers represent all-time lows since the states began tracking fatalities. In Iowa, 317 people died in auto accidents last year, and in Wyoming, the number stands at 85. Those are the lowest figures since 1944 and 1945, respectively.

The national Highway Traffic Safety Administration will not release verified figures for 2013 until later this year, but the agency has said the number of traffic deaths in the first half of 2013 was 4.2 percent lower than the first half of 2012.

In 2012, the total number of fatal auto accidents nationwide rose by 3.3 percent over 2011 after a multi-year decline.

“It’s good to know last year’s numbers were not the beginning of a new uptrend,” added Alston. “Hopefully, we’ll see new lows again in 2014.”