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Motor vehicle deaths rise

Pennsylvania drivers concerned with road safety should be aware that, according to new estimates released by the National Safety Council, motor vehicle deaths in the United States in 2016 exceeded 40,000 for the first time since 2007. This increase is attributed to more drivers being on the road due to the healthy economy and inexpensive gasoline prices.

The 40,200 motor vehicle accident deaths in 2016 represented a 6 percent increase over 2015's figure and 14 percent hike over 2014's numbers. The trend corresponds to data released in January 2017 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which revealed an 8 percent increase in fatal crashes during the first nine months of 2016 compared to the 2015 number.

The results of a survey also released by the National Safety Council showed that 47 percent of drivers are comfortable with texting while behind the wheel and 10 percent of people had driven drunk with 43 percent of them proceeding to get in accidents. The analysis also reported that 16 percent of drivers do not wear seatbelts all the time and 25 percent are comfortable with speeding on residential roads.

A representative of the National Safety Council asserts that these results highlight how complacency with risky driving behaviors is contributing to motor vehicle deaths. She also stated that the 3 percent increase in vehicle miles traveled last year doesn't fully account for the 6 percent rise in deaths.

Dangerous driving behavior can be a significant factor in car accidents. Victims of vehicle accidents or their surviving families may consult with personal injury attorneys about holding those responsible for the accidents financially liable. The court may find the driver who caused the crash liable for drunk driving, speeding, texting and driving, driving while drowsy or any other negligent driving behavior.

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