Traffic Fatalities in Nebraska Are Down, But More Work Still Needs To Be Done
While the number of fatalities from car accidents in Nebraska this year has decreased compared to the previous year, state officials emphasize that there is still significant work to be done in curbing motor vehicle accidents across the state.
The high rates of car accident deaths witnessed during the past summer in Nebraska are of particular concern. Alarming statistics reveal that many fatalities involved individuals not wearing seatbelts, highlighting the urgent need for improved safety measures.
How many people died in car accidents in Nebraska?
A recent report by 6 News Omaha highlighted a significant surge in car accident fatalities during July. According to statistics from the Nebraska Department of Transportation, July witnessed 23 tragic fatalities stemming from 20 fatal car accidents across the state. This figure starkly contrasts with Nebraska's 17 car accident fatalities during the same month the previous year.
In a broader context, the year-to-date data shows a decline in motor vehicle accident fatalities compared to the same period in the previous year. As reported by 6 News Omaha, there have been 105 car accident fatalities in Nebraska this year, reflecting a 19 percent reduction compared to the corresponding period last year when the death toll stood at 120.
Seatbelts are a factor in fatal crashes
A key contributing factor to the elevated number of car accident fatalities in July was the lack of seatbelt usage among vehicle occupants. Specifically, out of the 19 vehicle occupants who tragically lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents that month, 15 were not wearing seatbelts, with the seatbelt status of two additional fatalities remaining unknown, as reported by 6 News Omaha.
Furthermore, the data extends to the first six months of the current year, indicating that of the 96 vehicle occupants who died in motor vehicle accidents in Nebraska during this period, 17 were found to have been wearing seatbelts at the time of the collision.
The trend of not wearing seatbelts frequently correlating with car accident fatalities in Nebraska is underscored by statistics from 2021. During that year, only 63 out of 165 vehicle occupants who tragically lost their lives in accidents were reported to have been wearing seatbelts at the time of the fatal collision, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) accident data.
Common causes of Nebraska car accidents
While the lack of seatbelt usage remains a notable contributing factor in numerous fatal car accidents in Nebraska, it is essential to recognize that it is not the sole cause of fatalities in motor vehicle accidents. Other factors that can lead to tragic outcomes on the road include:
- Speeding: Excessive speeds reduce a driver's reaction time and the chances of avoiding collisions or minimizing their impact.
- Drunk Driving: Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction times.
- Reckless Driving: Aggressive behaviors like weaving in and out of traffic or unsafe passing pose significant hazards.
- Running Red Lights or Stop Signs: Disobeying traffic signals and signs can lead to dangerous intersection accidents.
- Driver Fatigue: Drowsy driving can be as impairing as drunk driving, with fatigue diminishing a driver's alertness and decision-making.
- Failure to Adjust to Weather Conditions: Adverse weather, such as rain, snow, or ice, can reduce traction and visibility, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
- Vehicle Defects: Mechanical failures or defective vehicle components, such as faulty brakes or worn-out tires, can contribute to accidents.
- Inexperienced Drivers: Lack of experience or poor driving skills can lead to errors on the road.
As for non-fatal collisions, common causes in Nebraska often include:
- Failure to Yield Right of Way, which resulted in 4,251 car accidents in Nebraska in 2020.
- Distracted Driving, which caused 3,924 accidents in 2020, including many collisions involving drivers using a smartphone.
- Following Too Closely (Tailgating), which caused 2,560 accidents statewide in 2020.
Contact an Omaha car accident lawyer
The Omaha car accident lawyers at Ausman Law Firm P.C., L.L.O, are dedicated to helping crash victims navigate the process of obtaining the compensation they deserve.
In addition, we work on a contingency fee basis. That means there are no upfront or out-of-pocket costs, and you pay no fees unless we win.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and explore your potential legal options. We proudly handle injury claims and lawsuits throughout Nebraska.