2022: The Deadliest Year on Nebraska Roads Since ’07
254 people were killed in car accidents in Nebraska last year, the highest number of accident fatalities in a single year since 2007. This statistic represents a nearly 15% increase over 2021’s traffic fatality count, which was 221.
During the pandemic, the number of motor vehicle accidents in the United States fell considerably as fewer cars were on the roads. As restrictions have been lifted across the country, however, fatal crash rates have skyrocketed– in some cases, they are outpacing pre-pandemic levels.
These statistics are concerning for anyone who spends time on Nebraska roads. To keep yourself and everyone else safe, it’s important to stay informed and commit to driving safely. To find more information about Nebraska accident statistics, common causes of car crashes, and tips for handling motor vehicle accidents, keep reading below.
Nebraska Traffic Fatality Statistics 2022
- Urban areas, like Omaha and Lincoln, saw fatalities increase by 58% from 2021 to 2022.
- Fatalities in rural areas stayed about the same as totals from 2021.
- The average number of fatal accidents from 2017-2021 was 232, while 2022 alone had 254.
- 24 pedestrians were killed on Nebraska roads in 2022. This is tied with 2018 for most pedestrian deaths in the state in a single year (though data is only available from 2011 on).
- 7 people were killed by trains last year, the most since 2007.
Causes of Nebraska Traffic Accident Fatalities
One of the best ways to prevent accidents is to know what causes them. Being aware of and avoiding risky behaviors can keep you and everyone you interact with on the road safe.
According to Sgt. Jeremy Thorson of the Nebraska State Patrol, more than 4,000 speeding citations were issued in 2022 for speeds of over 90 miles per hour.
Speeding is one of the leading contributors to fatal motor vehicle accidents. By traveling faster than is safe for road conditions, you may give yourself insufficient reaction time if a hazard becomes present. Speeding also increases the chances of losing control of your vehicle.
Additionally, when speeding is a factor in an accident, the risk of serious injury or death increases. Speeding kills thousands of people every year. By following the speed limit and slowing down in winter weather or other hazardous conditions, you can save lives.
According to traffic cameras, around 10% of all Nebraska drivers are on their cell phones while driving, says Bill Kovarik, Nebraska Highway Safety Administrator.
When driving at 55 miles per hour, taking your eyes off the road for 5 seconds means that you travel the length of a football field without looking. Texting, fiddling with the radio, applying makeup, and even talking to passengers can all create dangerous distractions for drivers.
When behind the wheel, commit to focusing solely on the task at hand: driving safely.
Alcohol is involved in about one-third of fatal motor vehicle accidents. Drivers ages 21-34 are overrepresented in alcohol-involved accidents in Nebraska.
Never, ever drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Assign a designated driver or don’t drive until you have sobered up.
Failure to Wear a Seatbelt
Seatbelts are required for all vehicle occupants under Nebraska law. Unfortunately, Nebraska ranks 47th in the nation for seatbelt usage. Only 81% of Nebraskans buckle up before hitting the road.
A seatbelt won’t prevent a crash, but it can decrease your risk of injury or death. Make sure everyone in your car is buckled up before beginning your drive.
What to Do if You Are Involved in an Accident
Even if you’re doing everything right, you may still be involved in a traffic crash. The time immediately following a wreck is often overwhelming and stressful, but it’s important not to panic. Remain at the scene of the accident– leaving the scene when property damage or injuries have occurred can lead to fines and jail time.
Take the following steps to protect yourself and your right to a claim after a car accident.
Check for injuries
As soon as an accident occurs, check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If anyone has serious injuries, call 911 right away. Be sure to pay attention to any pain you are feeling– your wounds might not be visible.
If no one is seriously hurt, move your vehicle out of traffic if possible. If the other driver is seriously injured and needs assistance, call 911 for them.
Contact law enforcement
Even if no one is seriously hurt, you should call the police and file an accident report. Your auto insurance company may require a police report before approving any accident claims. This also ensures there is a record of your accident, should you choose to file a personal injury claim later.
When the police arrive, keep your statements factual. Do not admit fault or apologize to the other driver. The police may conduct an investigation that finds you were not responsible for the accident. If you take the blame right away, the investigation may never be conducted.
Document the scene
While waiting for law enforcement to arrive, pay attention to the scene of the accident. Take pictures and videos of your vehicle, the other party’s vehicle, your injuries, marks on the pavement, and the scene as a whole.
This evidence can be used to build your case later. Even if you do not believe something is important, take pictures anyway. Your attorney can help you decide what information is helpful later on.
Calmly exchange the following information with the driver of the other vehicle:
- Phone number
- Insurance information
- License plate number
Keep this conversation short and avoid speculating or talking about the accident. You may be feeling upset with them, especially if the accident was caused by their negligence. However, raising your voice, becoming aggressive, or assigning blame will not help the situation.
Seek medical attention
Even if you do not believe your injuries are serious, you should see a medical professional right away. Tell them you were involved in an auto accident– they will be able to look for hidden injuries that you may not be aware of at the time.
If you plan to file a personal injury claim, you will need to complete treatment before your case can settle. The sooner you see a doctor, the more quickly you can begin the road to recovery.
Consider hiring a personal injury attorney
If you were injured due to another person’s negligence in the state of Nebraska, an Advocate can help you. When dealing with physical pain, emotional trauma, medical bills, and property damage, fighting insurance adjusters is probably the last thing you want to do.
The car accident attorneys with The Advocates have been taking on injury cases for three decades. We know how to build a solid accident case, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for the best settlement possible.
In addition to fierce legal representation, a car accident lawyer with The Advocates will be there to listen to your story, make sure your needs are met, and provide regular updates on your case. Our job is to take the stress off your plate so you can focus on feeling better.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident, you deserve a legal team who truly cares about you. You deserve an Advocate.