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Fatal car accidents increased for first time in 6 years

Fatal car accidents are on the rise in the United States. This is the first year in six years that fatal car accidents have increased, according to a report by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. They report that in 2012, 33,561 people were killed in car accidents in the country, which is a 3.3 percent increase from 2011.

The increase in fatal car accidents is troubling after traffic fatalities had been declining during the last few years. What led to the increase in fatalities? The researchers said the economy improving may be one reason for the increase, saying that more people are on the road and taking trips compared to previous years. 

The increase in fatal accidents could also be caused by several other factors. Texting while driving, distracted driving and lack of seat belt use are all additional factors that play a role in fatal car accidents every year in the U.S. 

In Massachusetts, the public continues to hear reports about car accidents caused by distracted drivers. Distracted driving is still a very common behavior of drivers on the road and continues to cause serious and fatal car accidents. Distracted driving is not limited to texting while driving either.

Many drivers still use their cellphones while driving. This is a very dangerous behavior. Looking down and dialing on a cellphone is the most dangerous part of using a cellphone and has the same impact as texting while driving because drivers are focusing on their cellphone instead of the road.

In addition to cellphone use, other distractions cause many car accidents. Distractions include eating, reaching for an object or changing the radio, and all of these distractions can lead to devastating consequences. 

Drivers need to be aware of the dangers of distracted driving and other dangerous driving behaviors to stay safe behind the wheel and reduce the chances of being in a car accident. 

Source: Newsday, "Deaths in crashes on rise in U.S., report says," Chau Lam, Jan. 22, 2014

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