Hawaii is a beautiful place to live, but that doesn’t mean it’s immune to auto accidents. Each year, thousands of accidents happen across the islands, with numerous victims being injured and killed as a result.
As roadway fatalities increase nationwide, there’s some reassurance knowing data from the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) recorded the lowest number of fatalities on state roadways in 40 years. Although reassuring, there is still a great deal of work to be done to bring those numbers even lower.
Here are a few key traffic accident statistics from HDOT from 2014, the latest year of available data:
- Serious Injuries and deaths – There were a total of 95 traffic fatalities across the islands in 2014. During 2011, which is the latest available data on record, there were 379 serious injuries resulting from traffic accidents.
- Alcohol-related crashes – With ample nightlife and many attractions, alcohol-related accidents are a key focus for law enforcement and safety officials. In 2014, there were 32 deaths attributed to alcohol-related accidents. Although traffic fatalities were down, alcohol and drug impairment continue to present significant dangers on state roads. Of the 95 traffic fatalities in 2014, over half (55%) involving drivers with alcohol or drugs in their system.
- Motorcycle Accidents – Hawaii does not have a mandatory helmet law, but safety campaigns have led to greater helmet use. In 2014, there were 25 motorcycle / moped fatalities, with 12 involving an unhelmeted rider or passenger.
- Pedestrian Accidents – Pedestrian accidents and deaths rose slightly in 2014, with 24 pedestrian fatalities compared to an average of 21 between 2008 and 2012.
- Marijuana DWI – Hawaii takes a more tolerant stance when it comes to marijuana, and has ramped up enforcement of marijuana DWI laws in response. Since 2014, law enforcement agencies have increased the number of drug recognition experts (DRE) on staff, and increased arrests.
- Speeding – Although Hawaii is known for slower speed limits than other states, speeding still remains a problem, causing 42 deaths in 2014.
Even when you take it upon yourself to make safety a priority behind the wheel – including driving sober, traveling at safe speeds, wearing a helmet, and obeying traffic laws – risks of preventable car accidents will always exist when others are negligent behind the wheel. When negligent drivers do cause harm, victims injured in those wrecks, as well as families of loved ones who were killed, have a right to take legal action against the at-fault party.
By working with our award-winning Hawaii personal injury lawyers at Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner, you can receive the support and guidance needed to navigate the personal injury or wrongful death claim process. Our attorneys are readily available to help as soon as possible after an accident. Contact us to discuss your case during a free consultation.