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Traffic deaths rise 13.5 percent from 2011 to 2012

Louisiana drivers have probably noticed an increase in motor vehicle accidents lately. These observations are in line with a startling statistic about fatal accidents recently released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Over 7,500 people died in motor vehicle accidents in the first three months of 2012. This is an increase of 13.5 percent from the same period during 2011. Although the safety administration did not offer an explanation for this increase, it may be partly attributable to negligent drivers.

The safety administration reported that during 2011, incidences of fatal car accidents were the lowest that they have been in six decades, and the rate of deaths per mile was lower than at any time since 1921. Unfortunately, this trend did not continue in 2012. The safety administration released numbers showing that about 7,630 people died in motor vehicle accidents during the first three months of 2012. In contrast, during this same three-month period in 2011, only about 6,720 people died in traffic accidents. The death toll is a significant increase since 2011, rising about 13.5 percent. The safety administration says that if traffic deaths continue at this same rate throughout 2012, the increase from 2011 will be the second largest year-to-year increase since 1975.

There are several possible reasons for the increase in traffic deaths. Some safety experts claim that the mild weather and recovering economy may be factors. People tend to drive more when weather conditions are good and when the economy is flourishing.

Of course, individuals on the road should not overlook one major factor potentially causing an increase in traffic accidents and wrongful deaths -- negligent drivers. Today, there are a number of ways in which drivers may be negligent, including talking or texting on their cell phones, speeding, engaging in road rage, falling asleep at the wheel, or driving under the influence. Louisiana drivers should be aware and exercise caution while driving, as many accidents can be avoided if drivers are attentive.

The recently released data about the number of traffic deaths in 2012 is certainly startling. Louisiana drivers should familiarize themselves with these new trends and be sure to exercise care when heading out on the roads. If they are involved in an accident, local motorists should take account of the circumstances and assess whether negligence of another driver may have been involved.

Source: Fox News, "Traffic death spiked 13.5 percent in early 2012," July 23, 2012

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