The National Safety Council (NSC) just released estimates that as many as 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2016. This is a 6% increase over 2015 in traffic fatalities and a 14% increase over 2014. The 2014 to 2016 increase in traffic fatalities marked the largest increase in 53 years, according to the NSC.

With the upward trend in traffic fatalities, the NSC is calling for the immediate implementation of life-saving measures, including:

  • Mandatory ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers
  • Automated enforcement techniques to catch speeders
  • Laws banning cell phone use
  • Upgrade seatbelt laws
  • Adopt a three-tiered licensing system for all new drivers under 21
  • Standardize and accelerate automotive safety technologies
  • Pass or reinstate motorcycle helmet laws
  • Adopt comprehensive pedestrian safety programs

Increase in Traffic Deaths a Call to Action

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) said that the increase in traffic fatalities was a call to action for the highway safety community. In a statement released by the GHSA, they named three predominant factors in contributing to traffic deaths. The factors include seat belt use, alcohol and speeding. Driver distractions and “our society’s addition to electronic devices” were also mentioned by the GHSA as likely playing a role in the increase in fatalities.

Risky Behaviors Can Cause Traffic Crashes

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, young millennials top the list of worst behaved drivers. A new report from the Foundation found that 88 percent of young millennials engaged in at least one risky behavior behind the wheel in the past 30 days. The behaviors, which increase crash risk, included texting while driving, red-light running and speeding. Alarmingly, a high percentage of drivers of all ages surveyed responded that they had engaged in a risky behavior while driving in the past 30 days. The new survey was completed to identify attitudes and behaviors related to traffic safety.

The car accident attorneys in Wilkes-Barre encourage everyone to drive safely and free of distractions. We’ve seen the devastating results of car crashes and want you to be safe. If you need to speak to a car accident lawyer, call Distasio, Kowalski & Yelen in Wilkes-Barre today for a free consultation. Call 570-970-5400.


Each year as school ends for the summer, we hear tragic stories of teen lives cut short by car crashes. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens according to the CDC. In fact, they were the leading cause of death for every age 16 through 24 in 2014. Two startling facts from the NHTSA Teen Crash Statistics 2014 are: 1,727 drivers ages 15 to 20 died in motor vehicle crashes and 170,000 young drivers were injured in motor vehicle crashes.

100 Deadliest Days for Car Crashes Teen Drivers

According to a study by the AAA Foundation, over the past five years, more than 5,000 people have died in car crashes involving teen drivers during the 100 day summer driving period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This is a period of time when more teens are on the road. The study found that distracted driving is a major cause of teen car crashes, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the teen crashes. Top causes of driving distractions for teens include interacting with one or more passengers, talking, texting or operating a cell phone, and looking at something inside of the vehicle. Nearly 50 percent of those teens surveyed by AAA admitted to reading a text message or emailing while driving. A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute reported that texting while driving increases a risk of crash by 23 times.

Six Teen Car Crash Prevention Tipscar crash

The car accident attorneys at Distasio & Kowalski in Wilkes-Barre, Pa encourage you to talk to your teen about safe driving habits and high-risk behaviors. Be a good role model for your teen and you may be able to help prevent a tragic accident.

  1. Limit the amount of passengers in your teen’s vehicle. The more passengers, the higher the risk for a car crash.
  2. Stay free from distractions. Set rules for your teen regarding distractions while driving – including no cell phone or electronic device use. Encourage them to pull over into a safe spot if they need to make a call or text someone.
  3. Tell your teen the importance of following all of the rules of the road. This includes all posted speed limit signs, safe passing, keeping a safe distance behind the vehicle in front, etc.
  4. Be sure your teen understands the importance of seat belt use for both a driver and all passengers. Seat belts can help save lives.
  5. Limit night driving. Be sure to practice nighttime driving with your teen, it’s sometimes tricky even for experienced drivers.
  6. Prohibit all alcohol and drug use. Also be sure your teen knows never to get into a vehicle as a passenger with a driver who is under the influence. Let them know if they need a ride, they can call you.

The car crash attorneys at Distasio, Kowalski & Yelen have represented the victims of motor vehicle accidents throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Because we’ve seen the horrific results of teen crashes, we want to be sure that all teens understand the danger of distracted driving, in addition to other risky driving behaviors. We are highly experienced in all types of auto accident cases. If you need a car accident lawyer, call Distasio, Kowalski & Yelen in Wilkes-Barre today for a free consultation. Call 570-970-5400.