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Deaths on U.S. roads reach highest level in almost 10 years

The National Security Council said in a report that traffic deaths were up 6 percent in 2016 compared to 2015. All told, they caused an estimated $432.5 billion in damages. The increase in fatalities was partially because of a 3 percent increase in miles traveled as low gas prices in North Carolina and around the country and a better economy encouraged people to get on the road. However, the increase in miles traveled did not fully explain the increase in fatalities.

There were 40,200 roadside fatalities in 2016, and the NSC has made several suggestions to reduce that number. It would ban the use of phones in vehicles including cars equipped with hands-free devices. It would also seek to implement a graduated licensing system for drivers under the age of 21. Interlock ignition devices would be required for anyone who has been convicted of a drunk driving offense.

In a survey, the same group found that 25 percent of respondents were comfortable speeding on residential streets. It also found that 16 percent of those who responded didn't wear seat belts on every trip that they took. Finally, the survey showed that 10 percent of respondents drove drunk while another 43 percent admitted to getting into an accident while impaired.

Those who are involved in an auto accident may be entitled to compensation. This may be true if the driver who caused the accident was acting in a negligent manner when the crash took place. Distracted, drunk or drowsy driving may all be examples of negligence, and it may entitle an injured victim to recoup medical costs as well as lost wages and lost future earnings. Those who wish to pursue a personal injury case may want to discuss the matter with an attorney.

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