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New fatal auto accident statistics show worrisome stagnation


Massachusetts residents should keep track of car accident statistics so they know what to look for when they head out on the road as a driver, a passenger, a bicyclist or a pedestrian. For example, numbers that might initially appear to show an improvement are often indicative of a stagnation or worsening of various problems when they are dissected in depth. Such is the case for the approximately one percent reduction in motor vehicle fatalities in 2017. This information, from the National Safety Council, heightens concerns about road dangers.

The NSC states that there were 40,100 fatalities on the road in 2017. That was the second consecutive year in which road fatalities surpassed 40,000. There had been a rise of six percent in 2016 compared to the previous year's numbers. Fatalities were declining for the decade preceding 2016. However, distracted drivers and an increase in miles driven overall contributed to the increase in fatalities after a car accident. In addition to deaths, there were an estimated 4.57 million people injured in accidents in 2017. This cost close to $414 billion. While this is lower than 2016, it is still problematic.

Alcohol and speeding are also issues that heavily factor into the occurrence of fatal accidents. The statistics presented by the NSC are different from those of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Even the NHTSA's numbers are worryingly high with more than 37,000 fatal accidents in 2016. That is an increase of 5.6 percent from the prior year. One major difference between the recordkeeping and assessments is that the NSC counts accidents that do not occur on public roadways such as driveways and parking lots, while the NHTSA does not. Although carmakers are installing devices designed to limit distractions by allowing hands-free use and more autonomous features are being added, the accident numbers remain high because people are finding newer and different ways to be distracted, believing they can multitask and do so safely.

A person who was in a car collision should know about the statistics as the reason for the crash could be a vital part of securing compensation for all that was lost. Injuries can lead to extensive medical problems, hospitalizations, hindrances returning to normal and a whole litany of other issues. A fatality will deprive a family of a loved one, lead to emotional, personal and financial turmoil and more. A lawsuit is often the only strategy to garner adequate compensation to move forward. A legal professional experienced in filing a car accident lawsuit can help with the investigation and in pursuing a case.

Source: marketwatch.com, "U.S. highway deaths dipped last year but hold near decade-high levels," Rachel Koning Beals, Feb. 16, 2018

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