Schemery Zicolello

Number of fatal car accidents on the rise across the country

Cars are getting safer and being built more soundly. New technology gives cars better traction, assists with changing lanes and even allows people to use their phones wirelessly. New roadways are also being built to maximize driver safety by dividing highways, incorporating larger shoulders and using rumble strips. Despite all these safety advances, a new report shows that the number of fatal car accidents is on the rise in Pennsylvania and across the country.

The data was released by the National Safety Council. According to the report, car accidents killed 36,200 people in the United States in 2012. This number is five percent higher than the number of car crash deaths in 2011. In fact, this is the first time since the 2004-2005 report that the number of deaths has risen.

Experts are attributing the rise in car accident victims to a couple of different factors. One, they claim that there are simply more cars on the roadways than there has been in the last few years. They say that as the economy has turned around, more people are driving to and from work..

Second, experts say the increase in fatal accidents can be blamed on an increase in the number of people texting and driving and the lack of enforcement of speed limits. Distracted drivers are dangerous drivers and are far more likely to cause an accident. Furthermore, police departments are not taking speeding seriously enough which can make a distracted driver even more deadly. In fact, in nearly a third of all fatal accidents, speeding is named as a contributing factor.

When a driver is speeding, disobeying other safety laws or is otherwise distracted, that driver is dangerous and most likely driving negligently. When a negligent driver causes an accident, or kills someone, that driver is legally responsible for the damages. Victims and their families should understand their legal rights when they have been hurt by a negligent driver.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Crash-related deaths up for first time since 2005, report says," David Undercoffler, Feb. 20, 2013

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