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NHTSA study shows rise in car accidents continues

Given the number of negative aftereffects of a car crash like medical costs, lost time at work and even death, Ohioans and those across the U.S. should keep track of the statistics of these incidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of fatalities on the road increased by approximately eight percent over the first nine months of 2016 from that same period in 2015. This is a continuation of the rise that has been in place for several years. The agency says that this coincides with the rising number of drivers who are on the road for longer periods of time.

The number of fatalities surpasses the increase in travel. The miles traveled from January through September increased by around three percent. In the first nine months of 2016, just under 27,900 people were killed on the road. For that same period of time in 2015, the number was more than 2,000 fewer. Researchers believe the reason for more travel is the stronger economy and reduction in the price of gas. The caveat was added that the rise in fatalities cannot be attributed solely to those two factors.

More deaths are worrisome because cars are believed to be at their highest level of safety ever. Features such as rearview cameras and electronic stability are meant to improve safety. Plus there are other additions like blind spot technology and emergency braking that can help make driving even safer. Other factors are difficult to calculate. Included are marijuana use, whether it is in a state in which it is legal or not, and drivers who are distracted by smartphones or other mobile devices. Weather is a factor with the number of deaths rising when it is warmer and days are longer.

The number of fatalities on the road had been decreasing steadily when the U.S. was in an economic recession, but the numbers started going up again in the last three months of 2014 and have been growing since. Those who are in an auto accident should be aware of these trends for the purposes of the investigation and a legal filing. Every issue should be considered for the car accident victim to have the information necessary to pursue compensation. Discussing the matter with a legal professional who is knowledgeable about all aspects of car accidents can help in pursuing a case.

Source: bigstory.ap.org, "Surge in traffic deaths outpaces increase in travel," Joan Lowy, Jan. 13, 2017

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