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2015 has been a more dangerous year to drive

Preliminary data by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration issued just prior to Thanksgiving show that traffic deaths increased in the first half of 2015. The tragic rise in fatalities comes after a period of steady downturn in the number of fatal traffic accidents in recent years.

While it is still too early to pinpoint exact causes of the increase, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind noted that drunk driving, distracted driving and fatigued driving remain problems. Even as technology makes vehicles safer, the same human behaviors - and mistakes - are creating dangerous conditions for motorists. For example, drunk drivers still cause one-third of all traffic fatalities in the U.S.

It should be noted that part of the increase in fatalities could be due to the number of motorists on the road. More employees mean more travelers, and lower gas prices have made driving longer distances an option for some households. Still, it is clear that human error plays a large part of the increased risk for motorists in 2015. The rate of fatalities occurring for every 100 million miles driven in the U.S. increased nearly 4.5 percent from 2014. 

The NHTSA has historically focused on single issues to promote safe driving habits. Examples include "click it or ticket" and "drive sober or get pulled over," national campaigns warning drivers to wear seat belts and avoid drunk driving, respectively. Going forward, the NHTSA is focusing on combating numerous dangerous behaviors, including fatigued driving, which research has shown also increases the risk of accidents and fatalities on the road.

It is our sincere hope that roads will become safer in 2016. There is nothing more tragic than a preventable death which occurs because of unsafe driving behaviors. If you or a loved one suffered injury because another driver was operating a vehicle without proper regard to safety, you may be entitled to damages that resulted from the accident. Speak to an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your situation and legal options. 

 

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