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Car accident deaths top 40,000 nationally for 2017

The National Safety Council gathers data on fatal car crashes in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country, and in so doing it makes use of data compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics. The NSC's preliminary estimate of fatalities on U.S. roads for 2017 is 40,100, slightly less than the reported 40,327 traffic fatalities in 2016. The 2017 number is 6 percent more than the number in 2015. Prior to 2016, the last year with 40,000 or more motor vehicle accident fatalities was 2007.

The NSC estimates societal costs related to car accidents, injuries and fatalities were $413.8 billion. Around 4.57 million individuals suffered serious injuries in car accidents in 2017. As compared to 2016, total miles driven increased by approximately 1 percent. According to the president and CEO of the NSC, mobility on roadways is costing the U.S. 40,000 lives a year, a reminder that complacency is a killer. She said a full court press is necessary to address safety on the roads.

The annual population car accident death rate is 12.28 deaths per 100,000 people. The annual mileage death rate is 1.25 deaths for every 100 million miles traveled. This last statistic represents a 2 percent decrease as compared with 2016. The NSC includes in its figures deaths that occur within one year of a car accident.

People who are injured in car accidents caused by the negligence of other motorists may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses or other damages. An attorney may be able to help an injured party make a claim for damages by examining the facts of the car crash and gathering evidence in preparation for seeking a settlement from the at-fault motorist's insurer. If the offer is inadequate, filing a lawsuit might be advisable.

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