Highway Death Rate Has Fallen to a 60-Year Low

According to figures released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on May 7, highway fatalities have dipped to the lowest record in 60 years. This report was preliminary; final results will be available later this year. Bloomberg News reported on May 8 that “the number of people killed on U.S. highways fell in 2011 for the sixth straight year, the longest streak of declines in the nation’s history.” Crash fatalities dropped 1.7 percent from 2010 to an estimated 32,310 in 2011. USA Today observed that the 2011 estimate of 32,310 deaths came in a year when the number of vehicle miles traveled fell by 35.7 billion, a 1.2 % decrease. The Washington Post noted on May 8 that the decrease was “initially attributed to the economic downturn, but the decline has continued even as Americans rebounded from a 2009 low and began driving more miles in 2010 and last year.” Jonathan Adkins, a spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association, contended that a variety of factors can explain the decrease, including “high seat belt use, safer cars and safer roads,” as well as efforts to curb drunken driving. In addition, continued high gas prices and high unemployment may make optional trips, like those taken by teens, less frequent. The AP reported that Jackie Gillan, the president of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, welcomed the trend but cautioned against complacency. If you or a member of your family has been injured in a highway accident, contact us for a free appraisal.

Dear Friends and Clients,

In furtherance of our firm’s culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can.

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP