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Vehicle accident statistics: How does 2017 compare to 2016?

The Insurance Information Institute (III)publishes statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regarding motor vehicle accidents every year. At this time, the most recent figures available are for 2017, so it may be interesting to look at how these figures compare to the previous year, 2016. Have our nation's roads been getting safer, or have they been getting more dangerous, overall?

First, let's take a look at the statistics that pertain to 2016. The NHTSA reports that 37,461 deaths happened for vehicle-related reasons in 2016, which was a 5.6 percent increase from 2015 numbers. Deaths caused by distracted driving declined in 2016, but deaths caused by reckless driving increased. Various reckless behaviors that contributed to motor vehicle deaths included drunk driving, drugged driving, speeding and failure to use a seatbelt. The fatality rate per 100 million driven miles was 1.18.

As for 2017, the National Safety Council (NSC) states that fatalities declined by 1 percent. This was a good sign according to NSC because the previous two years had seen steep increases in fatality rates.

Keeping the roads safe and death rates as low as possible is a goal that requires constant attention by lawmakers, police, judges, lawyers and the public. If you've been injured in any kind of motor vehicle crash -- or if your loved one was killed in a crash that was not his or her fault -- you might want to consider your legal rights and options. By bringing your situation to light in a legal context, you may be able to bring more attention to the problems related to vehicle safety in our country.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, "Statistics: Highway safety," accessed May 04, 2018

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