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U.S. traffic fatalities on the rise for first time since 2005


It’s the end of a trend Massachusetts drivers and pedestrians would probably like to have seen continue, but after 7 years of declines, the number of traffic fatalities in the U.S. increased in 2012.Motor vehicle accident deaths rose 3.3 percent nationwide for a total of 33,561 on the year. That meant an average of 91 people killed on roadways every day as calculated by AOL Autos from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.

Injuries rose during 2012 as well. In what the NHTSA said was the first “statistically significant” increase in people hurt in traffic accidents in 17 years, more than 2.3 million people in the suffered injuries on U.S. roadways. That represented an increase of 145,000 Americans from 2011.

Motorcyclists saw a sharp uptick in fatalities, 7.1 percent higher than 2011’s numbers. The 4,743 riders killed in accidents made up some 15 percent of all highway deaths. In what may support the argument of helmet advocates, bikers without helmets died at a rate 1,000 percent higher than those with the protective equipment, according to NHTSA. In addition, more than 93,000 people on motorcycles were injured.

Pedestrians and bicyclists also saw a jump in traffic deaths: up 6.4 percent for walkers and 6.5 for bike riders. Both of these increases continued the grisly trend into a third straight year.

Deaths from car accidents such as those caused by a distracted driver who is texting and driving can devastate families. A drunk driving accident can mean a lifetime of pain and suffering. The U.S. justice system offers one way to achieve closure after an auto accident. A lawsuit seeking compensation for damages may be filed to help pay for funeral or medical expenses.

Source: AOL, “Traffic Fatalities Rise For First Time In Seven Years“, Peter Bigelow, November 14, 2013


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