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Number of fatalities in a car accident highest since 2007

Pennsylvanians should always be cautious when out on the road. Part of this goes beyond making certain to operate their vehicles based on the law, but also extends to keeping track of the potential dangers they will face. Research is ongoing to determine the cause of accidents as a means of understanding and preventing them. The National Safety Council has released preliminary data for 2016 and they show some disturbing trends.

The NSC study states that the number of fatalities in auto accidents in 2016 might have reached 40,000. This is a rise of 6 percent from 2015 and 14 percent from 2014. This is the biggest increase in a two-year period since 1964. According to estimates, 4.6 million people who were in an auto accident needed to receive medical treatment. That was an increase of 7 percent from 2015. Overall, these numbers indicated that 2016 could have been the year with the most fatalities in the past decade, with societal costs of $432 billion.

A survey that the NSC conducted gave greater in-depth information as to how drivers behave behind the wheel. 83 percent of the drivers expressed concerns about safety on the road. Even with that, 64 percent said they were comfortable driving at an excessive speed. 47 percent said they send text messages by hand or voice. 13 percent drove after smoking marijuana. And 10 percent drove after they had too much alcohol. The NSC makes certain recommendations to improve safety on the road, including extending laws restricting cellphone use, using automated methods to catch speeding vehicles, and having tiered driver's license systems for drivers under the age of 21.

These numbers are of great concern to anyone who heads out on the road in any capacity. Particularly worrisome is the number of people who are using smartphones and speeding without concern as to the consequences. When there is a car accident, injuries can result in a hospital stay, rehabilitation and other costs. The victim could have trouble returning to work or might never return to normal functioning. With a fatality, the family left behind will have to come to accept the unexpected loss of a loved one. For these issues, the car accident victim or the family left behind after a fatality must keep their interests in mind. A crash reconstruction and other methods of investigation are key to filing a legal case for compensation. A qualified legal professional may be able to help.

Source: nsc.org, "2016 Motor Vehicle Deaths Estimated to be Highest in Nine Years," accessed on Feb. 19, 2017

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