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U.S. experiencing troubling rise in number of car accidents

Louisiana drivers are keenly aware of the dangers of being in a car accident every time they go out on the road. However, statistics are useful to provide information as to how often these accidents occur, what the accident investigation says as to how they happened and what can be done to decrease the risk of being in one. Research by the National Safety Council examining preliminary data from 2016 shows that there could have been as many as 40,000 fatalities in motor vehicle crashes during the year. This is a rise of 6 percent from 2015.

As the statistics are examined in depth and proven accurate, that would be a rise of 14 percent from 2014. 2016 will be the worst year for road fatalities since 2007. Not only are the fatalities a concern, but the injuries that accompany a crash are also problematic. Approximately 4.6 million people were injured in a car crash in 2016. The accrued cost with property damage, injuries and fatalities came to $432 billion. That is an increase of 12 percent from 2015. Included in the calculation is lost wages, medical costs, property damage, costs to employers and administrative costs.

In October, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also released information of fatality statistics. It was for the first half of 2016 and indicated a similar trend with nearly 18,000 fatalities to that point. This was a rise of 10.4 percent from the same time frame in 2015. Notably, the two agencies used different data, but that does not change the overall landscape that the roads are getting worse. Issues that are believed to be causing the rise are those which can be controlled by vehicle operators: texting and driving and other behaviors that lead to being a distracted driver. Surveys have shown that 83 percent of respondents said they were concerned with safety, but still drove above the speed limit, texted, and drove under the influence.

Considering all the inherent dangers that are on the road, the prevalence of people who are flouting the law while driving is making the roadways more treacherous. When there is an accident, those who were affected by it whether they were injured themselves or lost a loved one need to understand their right to seek compensation. Discussing the matter with an attorney is the first step to filing a case.

Source: Fortune, "2016 Was the Deadliest Year on American Roads in Nearly a Decade," Kirsten Korosec, Feb. 15, 2017

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