Hawaii Has Highest Fatality Rate in State
A new report shows that Hawaii County leads the state in motor vehicle traffic deaths. Traffic fatalities are a serious problem both in Hawaii and across the country, as additional data reveals that fatalities have risen across the country for another year.
Big Island leads in motor vehicle fatalities
The State of Hawaii’s Department of Transportation released a report detailing the number of traffic fatalities in Honolulu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii occurring between January 1 and October 15, 2017. The report included statistics on both the number of deaths among passengers in motor vehicles, as well as the overall number of roadway deaths, which includes deaths among pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists, and moped and scooter-riders. While Hawaii had the highest number of motor vehicle traffic deaths, Honolulu had the most roadway deaths overall; Hawaii had 30 overall deaths and Honolulu, 35.
Hawaii police Sgt. Brad Freitas attributed the large number of deaths on the Big Island to the amount of open highway on the island, as well as a lack of the same amount of congestion as exists in Honolulu. Ironically, the congestion provides a greater level of safety for drivers, as it can prevent speeding. Speed is a top cause of fatal traffic accidents, according to Sgt. Freitas.
Deaths on roads rising nationwide
After many years of falling fatalities on the nation’s highways, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that fatalities rose for the third straight year in 2016. 35,485 people died on US roads in 2016, according to the NHTSA, which is a 5.6% increase over the totals in 2015. This means that traffic fatalities have risen 14.4% between 2014 and 2016. For each day in 2016, an average of 100 people died in traffic accidents, the federal agency reports. Nearly a third of all those killed were pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists; 5,987 pedestrians alone were killed by motor vehicles last year. This is a 22% increase over the total number of pedestrian deaths in 2014. While the NHTSA asserts that distractions behind the wheel caused only 9.2% of all fatal accidents last year, many safety groups disagree, asserting that the number of distraction-caused fatal accidents may be as much as three times higher.
If you’ve been hurt in a crash in Hawaii, get help seeking the damages you’re entitled to receive for your injuries by contacting the skilled and knowledgeable Hilo personal injury attorney Louis P. Mendonca for a consultation, at 808-961-6690.