VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

Traffic deaths rise 6 percent from 2015

According to the National Safety Council, there were 40,200 roadside fatalities in 2016. This was a 6 percent increase from 2015 and a 14 percent increase from 2014. One reason for the increase is the fact that there are more drivers on roads throughout the country. Overall, there was a 3 percent increase in miles driven from 2015 to 2016. Lower gas prices in Florida and nationwide and a better economy help to explain this increase.

However, a representative of the NSC said that an increase in miles alone failed to fully explain the increase in traffic deaths. In an effort to reduce the increase, the group called for a three-tier licensing system for those under the age of 21. It also called for ignition interlock devices for convicted drunk drivers as well as a full ban on the use of cell phones while driving. This ban would eliminate hands-free systems as well.

In 2016, car accidents caused $432.5 billion in damages. This figure includes damage done to property as well as the cost of injuries and deaths from car crashes. In addition to its report, the NSC also released a survey that found that 47 percent of drivers are comfortable texting while driving. Another 10 percent of respondents said that they drove while drunk.

If a drunk, drowsy or distracted driver causes an accident, injured victims may be able to pursue compensation for their losses in a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney may use cellphone records, toxicology reports or other evidence to establish that a driver was acting in a negligent manner prior to the crash.

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