Compared to this time last year, Alabama highways have seen an alarming increase in fatal accidents. From New Year's Day to Feb. 10, state troopers investigated 54 fatalities, nine more than were investigated during that same time in 2015.
State troopers say that multiple factors, including lack of law enforcement, have led to the increase in wrecks, injuries and deaths.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is encouraging people to contact their state representatives and request more funding to put more state troopers on the road. It's believed that people are driving faster and more aggressively in the absence of strict law enforcement.
Additionally, gas prices have gone down, and this has undoubtedly led to an increase in traffic, which typically leads to an increase in crashes.
Still, the leading cause of injurious and fatal wrecks is speeding, followed by drunk driving, followed by distracted driving.
(For more on the problem of distracted driving in Alabama, please see our previous post, "Are Jasper Drivers Really Safer with Hands-Free Devices?")
As for drunk driving, the rate of DUI-accident deaths in Alabama is significantly higher than the national rate.
The latest reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that, per 100,000 people in Alabama, about six people are killed each year in drunk driving accidents. The national rate is about three deaths per 100,000 people.
The statistics also show that the rate of DUI deaths is particularly high among men between the ages of 21 and 34.
Keeping our roads safe requires a combination of ongoing education and law enforcement.
Even though people tend to think of it as simply a routine, operating a motor vehicle is a serious responsibility requiring each driver's manual, visual and cognitive attention. When drivers are negligent in these capacities, the consequences can be devastating.
At The Sapp Law Firm in Jasper, we help accident victims receive the compensation they need and deserve. For more what to do after being injured by a negligent motorist, please see our auto accident overview.