Traffic fatalities continue to rise, for second straight year

Car crashes are among the most prolific and deadly inflictions of injury and death on Americans. As such, federal and state governments spends millions of dollars a year trying to reduce these rates. They partner with non-profits, like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, to discourage people from drinking and driving. They also work with regulators and auto manufacturers to bring more safety technologies to market. Despite all of this effort, the fatality rate has increased for the past two years.

 

According to preliminary estimates, 40,200 people died in accidents last year. That represents a six percent jump from 2015. Furthermore, 2015 saw a seven percent increase in fatalities from 2014. 2016 was the first year in which traffic fatalities rose above 40,000 since 2007.

Experts blame a variety of factors for the rise. Specifically, some experts argue that the proliferation of smart-connected devices has increased rates of distracted driving and thus the fatality rate. But many others argue that speeding, failure to wear seat belts, and drunk driving account for the majority of the increase.

Many states do not allow police to pull drivers over for failing to wear a seatbelt. Furthermore, speeding enforcement is notoriously lax in many states. It is believed that a new campaign by states to encourage drivers to wear their seatbelts and drive safely is the only way to reduce the fatality rate.

If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash, then you may want to contact a lawyer for assistance ? you could have a valid claim for personal injury. As illustrated above, car accidents are due to a variety of reasons, some of which are beyond your control. But that does not mean that you should pay for your medical expenses. An attorney can help you get fair compensation to ensure that you can pay for your injuries.

Source: The New York Times, "U.S. Traffic Deaths Rise for a Second Straight Year," Neal. E. Boudette, February 15, 2017

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