Driver error continues to be the leading cause of auto accidents, accounting for 92% of all fatal car crashes. With the advent of safer cars, only 2% of collisions are caused by mechanical defects, according to new report from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). In Washington, DC, fatal motor vehicle collisions were down in 2015, but pedestrian fatalities were up, continuing a troubling trend. Major bicycling collisions also rose for the third straight year.
DDOT and the DC Mayor’s office of planning have been increasing the use of safe crosswalk designs, including improved signage, dog-legged curb extensions, and traffic calming designs.
These improvements must contend with an increase in distracted driving incidents, often related to texting, tweeting or phoning while behind the wheel. Lower gas prices are also increasing the number of miles driven, resulting in more collisions.