Traffic fatalities on the rise

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is responsible for collecting data related to accidents and other issues on the roads in Louisiana and throughout the country. A recent evaluation of 2015 statistics shows a concerning trend in terms of fatalities on the roads. According to the NHTSA, traffic-related fatalities were decreasing over the course of many years, but from January through September of 2015, the numbers were up by more than 9 percent.

During the first nine months of the year, more than 26,000 individuals were killed in car crashes. This was an increase of more than 2,000 fatalities in comparison with 2014 statistics for the same part of the year. Regional changes ranged from a 2 percent increase in states in the south central part of the nation to a 20 percent increase in northwestern states. The 2014 fatalities were down by more than 1 percent from the previous year and down by at least 22 percent since 2000.

In evaluating these troubling statistics for 2015, the NHTSA has indicated that it will undertake a review of the causes of the increase. More than 90 percent of car accidents are due to human factors, which means that efforts to educate and target unsafe practices on the part of drivers will be an important part of tackling the increased fatality rate. The failure to use seat belts is one area under consideration. Drunk driving will be another point of focus as the NHTSA endeavors to reverse the 2015 trend.

A person who is injured by a drunk or distracted driver might expect the at-fault party's automobile insurance to cover medical needs and other economic issues resulting from the incident. However, personal injury litigation might be important if the responsible driver lacks sufficient coverage or has no coverage at all. In some cases, insurance coverage can be inadequate to deal with the long-term financial and emotional impact of a serious accident.

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