Kline Legal Group P.L.C.

Fatal car accidents on the rise for the first time in years

Drivers, passengers, pedestrians and others on the roads in Michigan and throughout the country might be more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than in previous years. According to experts, more jobs and lower fuel prices mean more people driving. This increased road use has resulted in the largest one-year hike in fatalities since 1966.

In 2015, nearly 36,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents. A decade earlier, the figure was even higher. However, the number has since been steadily declining because of safety technology, seat belt use and a reduction in drunk driving.

Experts say that almost 50 percent of passengers who were killed in 2015 were not wearing their seat belts. About 10 percent of fatalities involved a distracted driver, and nearly one-third involved speeding or a drunk driver. In a recent press release, the U.S. Transportation Secretary asked data scientists, safety experts and researchers to work together in looking at the data and considering how the fatalities could be prevented.

Even when car accidents are not fatal, the injuries that result can be catastrophic. Whether a person suffers a devastating permanent injury such as paralysis or less serious injuries such as broken bones, medical bills might be high. The person might also miss work during recovery and incur significant damage to their vehicle. If the insurance company does not offer enough compensation, the victim might want to consider filing a lawsuit against the responsible driver. If the court finds that the driver was negligent, as might be the case with actions such as driving while fatigued or distracted driving, then the lawsuit might be successful.

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