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Traffic fatalities on the rise

New York motorists may want to pay closer attention to their surroundings after seeing statistics on traffic fatalities for 2015 that have been released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The percentage increase in road deaths from 2014 to 2015 was the highest in nearly 50 years.

More than 35,000 people lost their lives around the country in 2015 traffic accidents. This number represents a 7.2 percent increase from 2014, and it includes bicycle riders and motorcyclists in addition to car drivers and passengers. Several causes for this increase have been proposed by experts.

For example, it was noted that people drove more in 2015 than they had the year before. The total number of vehicle miles traveled increased by 3.5 percent, which would have an effect on the number of car accidents. Other causes for the additional fatalities were attributed to driver or passenger behavior. Ten percent of all fatalities were associated with distracted driving, while 30 percent involved a motorist who was speeding or impaired. Additionally, about 50 percent of the deaths were to people who were not wearing seat belts.

Fatal motor vehicle accidents can leave the surviving family members of the person who was killed dealing with significant financial issues in addition to their grief. Funeral and burial costs can be high, and when the decedent was the breadwinner, those contributions to household expenses need to somehow be replaced in whole or in part. If the accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, one way to seek compensation could be the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit. A personal injury attorney could assist in this regard.

Article Source Web Link: NPR, "Traffic Deaths In 2015 Climb By Largest Increase In Decades", Richard Gonzales, Aug. 29, 2016

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