VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

More cars on road one reason for 2015 fatality increase

Florida motorists may be interested to learn that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx has asked the public along with researchers, data scientists and safety advocates to try to get to the bottom of the increase in traffic deaths in 2015 compared to 2014. Fatalities had been on the decline for several years, but in 2015, they went up 7.2 percent from the preceding year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the total number of deaths was 35,092 and included pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicycle riders. For motorcyclists, the increase was over 8 percent.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reports that more vehicle miles were traveled in 2015 due to an increase in jobs and a decrease in the costs of fuel. However, there were additional reasons for the fatalities.

Drunk driving, speeding, distracted driving and a lack of seat belt use were all factors in 2015.Drunk driving had actually gone down and seat belt use had gone up in previous years, and this was one reason for the decline in the death rate. Safety improvements, including electronic stability control, were also a factor.

Even in a motor vehicle accident that is not fatal, a person may suffer life-changing injuries. The victim might never be able to return to work, and the financial impact can be devastating. In the event that the accident was caused by the negligence of another motorist, a personal injury attorney could assist a victim in seeking appropriate compensation for medical expenses and other losses through the filing of a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

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