UA study finds increase in Alabama roadway fatalitiesBy Peyton Shepard | 01/19/2017 12:07am
A recent study by the UA Center for Advanced Public Safety has indicated a rise in traffic crash-related deaths across the state of Alabama over the past year, up almost 25 percent from 2015.
According to state crash records, there were a recorded 1,058 traffic fatalities, up from 849 deaths in 2015, though statistics for 2016 have not been finalized. Despite the substantial increase in deaths, overall accidents on Alabama roadways only increased by 2.1 percent.
“That this increase was less than one-tenth that of the fatalities indicates that there are issues on our highways that need to specifically address the fatality problem,” David Brown, research associate at the CAPS, said in a press release.
The study was conducted using the Critical Analysis Reporting Environment system, which identifies individual factors in crash records as a means of pinpointing the causes of the increase in fatalities.
Brown said a variety of factors including speed, safety belt usage, driving distractions and pedestrian faults contributed to the increase, and are augmented by the influence of alcohol and drugs.
“It is imperative that mindsets be changed and citizens accept personal responsibility if these tragic events are to be averted in the future,” Brown said.