Wisconsin Traffic Deaths Increased in 2016

According to a recent Journal Sentinel article, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is reporting that motor vehicle accidents increased by almost six percent in 2016. There were 588 traffic fatalities in 2016, as compared to 555 fatalities in 2015 and 548 fatalities averaged over the last five years. 2016 had the highest number of fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents in the state of Wisconsin since 2012.

WisDOT officials attribute the increase in fatalities for 2016 in part due to more vehicle miles traveled. Increased travel typically occurs as a result of lower gas prices and a better economy in general. When gas is cheap and unemployment rates are low, people are far more likely to purchase vehicles, travel farther to work, and go on vacations that involve driving.

However, officials also note that about 90% of these accidents are caused by the bad decisions and dangerous habits of drivers. These bad habits include speeding, impaired driving, and a failure to use seatbelts. Distracted driving, largely due to cell phone usage, also has contributed to increases in accident rates.

Some also cite the increase to Wisconsin’s interstate speed limit in recent years, or 70 mph, as another factor that had led to increased motor vehicle accidents. Nonetheless, state officials claim that the speed limit increase has had little or no effect on accident rates. Rather, officials point to distracted driving, excessive speeding, and other driver actions as responsible for increased traffic deaths. Furthermore, while technology is obviously useful in the automotive manufacturing industry, it also brings about more opportunities for driver distraction, from GPS technology to satellite radio to cell phones in general.

Boller & Vaughan is substantially skilled in Wisconsin personal injury and wrongful death law and has the extensive experience necessary to lead you throughout the often lengthy and complex process of a personal injury claim. Regardless of the cause of the car wreck that led to your injuries, we know how to help you get the compensation that you deserve. If you are facing this type of situation, you can count on your Madison motor vehicle accident attorneys to help you develop and manage your claim for damages under Wisconsin law.