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Study shows increase in deaths in auto accidents in 2016

Florida drivers who are injured in auto accidents, as well as people who have lost loved ones in crashes should be aware of research into why they happen. This can be useful not just to avoid accidents in the future, but to have a basis under which to consider a legal filing to receive compensation after the accident. Research by the National Safety Council (NSC) has found that the number of people killed in car crashes rose for the second straight year in 2016. A major factor in this increase is believed to be the number of distracted drivers on the road.

An estimate from the NSC says that the number of fatalities increased to 40,200 in 2016, a rise of 6 percent, in comparison with 2015. This was also a 14 percent increase from 2014. It is the highest increase over a two-year period in more than 50 years. In 2014, the number of people who were killed on the road had reduced by approximately one quarter from a decade ago. This is attributed to the improved safety additions on new vehicles. The information used by the NSC is not comparable to that of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as the NSC information calculates traffic and fatalities that do not occur on public roadways such as parking lots and driveways. Included are fatalities that happen within a year of the auto accidents.

Factors the NSC mentions as possible reasons for the increase include drunk drivers, drivers who are traveling at excessive speed and distracted drivers who were texting. The NSC is not yet able to directly determine why there was an increase in deaths on the road, but a survey done by the NSC showed that 64 percent of drivers stated they were comfortable going above the speed limit. Close to half said they were comfortable texting while driving, either using their hands or doing so by voice.

Given the risk of passenger injuries and driver injuries as well as those who are vulnerable to vehicular accidents, such as motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians, understanding the research done by the NSC can be helpful in realizing possible causes of an accident. An attorney who is experienced in car accidents may be able to use the specific factors in an individual case to garner evidence that can be used in a lawsuit.

Source: marketwatch.com, "Sharp rise in U.S. vehicle deaths in 2016, NSC says," Adrienne Roberts, Mike Spector, Feb. 15, 2017

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