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The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recently came out with an alarming report: More people are dying in traffic accidents. In 2015, traffic deaths were up 7.2% to 35,092, the largest jump in nearly 50 years. The NHTSA also found that more people were likewise being injured in accidents, up to 2.44 million injuries in 2015.

The uptick bucks a positive trend that we have been seeing in the United States, where despite drivers spending more time on the road, traffic deaths had been generally going down. The rise in fatalities isn’t limited to a few categories; more people are dying in all types of vehicles, and more people on bicycles and on foot are being hit by vehicles.

The chart produced by the NHTSA shows how 2015 bucked the recent trend of decreased deaths.

The chart produced by the NHTSA shows how 2015 bucked the recent trend of decreased deaths.

So what is causing the increase? Are cars becoming less safe? Are people driving more recklessly? Well the research shows that nearly half of the deaths came from accidents caused by impaired or distracted drivers. That’s right, nearly 17,000 people died in 2015 because someone made a bad decision. They may have been drinking before they got behind the wheel, or they were texting while they were driving, or they were just driving recklessly.

Drivers certainly aren’t responsible for all accidents. Poorly designed cars and trucks, bad designs of roads, roads that aren’t maintained well, or even potholes can cause fatal accidents.

If you were injured or if you had a loved one killed because of someone’s bad decision, let us know and let us help. Call us at (205) 322-1201 and speak to an attorney today.

Also, one final note about fatal crashes and more importantly, about the people who survived crashes that killed other passengers. Seat belts save lives. The numbers show that 85% of the people who survived fatal crashes were wearing their seat belts. You can’t prevent every accident but you can do things to give yourself the best odds of surviving a very serious crash.