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New study reveals increase in highway fatalities for 2015

Following years of steadily decreasing traffic-related deaths in Connecticut and across the country, the numbers were up by nearly 10 percent during the first nine months of 2015, according to a report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Failing to wear seat belts and drunk driving were some of the factors leading to the increased rates.

The report found that between January and September of 2015, there were about 26,000 crash-related fatalities, an amount that reflects more than 2,200 more than those that occurred in the first nine months of 2014. Of those deaths, 20 percent occurred in the northwestern part of the U.S., about 15 percent in the southeastern states and 2 percent within the south central and mid-Atlantic region.

Prior to 2015, crash-related fatalities on the nation's highways had been consistently declining. For instance, from 2000 to 2014, there was a decline of more than 20 percent in traffic deaths. The agency has found that nearly 95 percent of highway fatalities are due to human factors. To help remedy this national problem, NHTSA representatives stated that the agency is examining human choices and hazardous behaviors related to the increased traffic fatalities via regularly held summits throughout the country. Its goal is to increase driving safety by altering the behavioral habits that lead to fatal highway crashes.

Many people who lose a loved one due to a car accident undergo emotional, physical and financial difficulties as they try to cope with their loss. In a case where the actions of a negligent driver caused the fatal crash, the survivors might want to meet with an attorney in order to explore their remedies.

Source: Insurance Journal, "U.S. Traffic Deaths Up 9%", Feb. 10, 2016

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