Despite reduction in fatalities, car accidents still problematic

Statistics can be useful to determine whether strategies government agencies, law enforcement and car manufacturers take to reduce auto accident fatalities are working. For Connecticut drivers, it is important to keep track of these numbers to know what to look out for when out on the road. When the annual statistics for fatal auto accidents are released, even a reduction must be put into context. Such is the case with the latest numbers from the National Safety Council (NSC) for 2017.

According to the NSC, there was a slight reduction in fatal auto accidents for 2017 when compared with 2016. In 2017, there were 40,100 fatalities on the road across the nation. That is a reduction of slightly less than 1 percent when compared to what the numbers were for 2016 when there were 40,327 fatalities. Although any reduction is a positive, the NSC states that it is unsure if this is indicative of a downward trend following two consecutive years of an increase in fatalities.

The spike in fatalities for the previous two years was linked to the greater number of people who took to the road with the improving economy and the growing problem of distracted drivers. In 2016, there was a 7 percent rise from 2015. From 2014 to 2015, there was also a 7 percent rise. That was the largest increase on a two-year span in five decades. Before 2016, the number 40,000 had not been reached since 2007.

The number of people who were injured in a crash also reduced by approximately 1 percent to around 4.57 million. The costs related to these accidents was estimated to be $413.8 billion. The total miles people in the U.S. drove in 2017 only rose by 1 percent from the previous year. The NSC keeps track of crashes not just on the road, but on private property as well making it more extensive than other statistical formulas.

These numbers are important to those who have been in a crash because the causes and other factors can be vital to a legal filing. People who are injured in an auto accident can be confronted with long-term personal, medical and professional problems, as well as massive medical expenses. Families who suffer the loss of a loved one will have a litany of other issues to deal with. An accident investigation is one of the most important factors in a case to be compensated. A lawyer experienced in car accidents can assist with all aspects for the case. This is the first call that should be made after a crash.

Source: abcnews.go.com, "Traffic deaths fell slightly in 2017 after 2-year spike," Tom Krisher, Feb. 15, 2018

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