Insurance News

Single-vehicle crashes cause most Del. road deaths

Posted on: November 6, 2009

Drivers who think other motorists pose the biggest hazard might want to think again — and pay more attention.

Single-car crashes cause most of the deaths on Delaware roads, and the large majority are blamed on distracted drivers, the AAA Mid-Atlantic mototists? group reported today.

Its analysis of newly released National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data on roadway statistics also shows such deaths are on the rise. Single-vehicle crashes caused 47 percent of the state?s road deaths in 2005, 49 percent in 2006, 54 percent in 2007 and 56 percent last year, when they accounted for 68 of the 121 fatalities.

Catherine L. Rossi, the group?s manager of public and government affairs, called the findings ?troubling.? She also said overall road fatalities in Delaware rose by about 3 percent over the year before.

Most people think single-vehicle wrecks are just ?freak accidents,? she said, but ?drivers can lower their risk of a crash by avoiding distractions, not speeding and staying alert to road conditions.?

While every crash has singular circumstances, she said, federal studies show inattentive driving in 80 percent of all kinds of crashes involve some form of driver inattention, which includes distractions from eating or putting on make-up to talking on cell phones or sending text messages.

In the region, Delaware has a higher percentage than one state, lower than two. Maryland had 53 percent of its 591 traffic fatalities occur in one-vehicle crashes, while Pennsylvania had 58 percent of its 1,468 road deaths in such crashes and New Jersey had 63 percent of its 590 deaths in such crashes.

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