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Increase in driving doesn't totally explain higher fatality rate

Many Minnesota motorists took advantage of the cheap gas prices in 2016 by using their cars more often. The increase in vehicle miles traveled last year was probably one of the reasons why there was also an increase in car accident deaths from the previous. However, analysts say that the higher number of roadside fatalities in 2016 cannot be explained in full by that reason.

The chief executive of the National Safety Council said that vehicle miles traveled rose by 3 percent between 2015 and 2016 while motor vehicle accident fatalities rose by 6 percent. 2016 was also the first year since 2007 that more than 40,000 people were killed in car accidents. In January, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had reported an 8 percent increase in fatal car accidents during the first nine months of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.

The National Safety Council is looking into some driving behaviors that could be contributing to the rise in fatal car accidents. According to a survey conducted by the organization, 47 percent of drivers say that they feel comfortable texting while they drive. Twenty-five percent of drivers are comfortable speeding in residential areas, and 16 percent of drivers say that they don't always wear a seat belt while they drive.

Serious motor vehicle accidents can cause catastrophic and sometimes fatal injuries to people who are involved in them. If an attorney for a victim can determine, through a review of the police investigation report and other evidence, that the accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, then one advisable method of seeking compensation could be a personal injury lawsuit filed against that motorist.

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Law Office of Jeffrey A. Jones, PA

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