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The number of traffic deaths is rising

According to the recently released estimates from the National Safety Council, automobile deaths in Kentucky and the rest of the nation totaled 40,200 in 2016. That high figure, which was a 6 percent increase from the previous year, can be partially attributed to an increase in driving spurred by a thriving economy and inexpensive gas.

NSC officials say that traffic fatality rates have increased in consecutive years. The increase trend is supported by findings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which reported that the number of fatal crashes for the first nine months of 2016 was 8 percent more than that reported for the same period in 2015.

A survey that was also released by the NSC reported some of the risky driving behaviors drivers admitted to. For example, 47 percent of motorists engage in texting while driving. In addition, 10 percent of respondents admitted to driving while intoxicated while 16 percent stated that they do not wear seat belts regularly.

A representative of the NSC stated that the results of the survey indicate how complacent drivers have become regarding risky driving. She also stated that the 6 percent increase in traffic fatalities in 2016 cannot be sufficiently explained by the 3 percent rise in the national number of vehicle miles traveled.

To counter the increase in deaths, the organization has revived a call for a complete ban on mobile phone use while driving. It has also called for mandatory ignition interlocks for those convicted of drunk driving.

Victims of vehicle accidents caused by a careless actions may have legal recourse. A personal injury attorney may file lawsuits against the liable parties to obtain compensation for the medical expenses of serious injuries.

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