The official release of traffic statistics for the full year of 2016 is likely several months away. However, recently the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a report for the first half of the year that contained some very somber news. According to the report, the first six months of 2016 saw a 10.4 percent increase in traffic fatalities compared to the first six months of 2015. And this marks the highest jump since the 1960’s.
You may find this surprising news because recent years have seen a decline in the number of road deaths in the United States. And this reversal of fortune has created concern. In fact, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator says the situation is both a crisis and a long-term challenge.
The raw numbers paint a very grim picture. According to NHTSA, 17,775 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents during the first six months of the year. Worse, typical trends indicate that the second half of the year will produce an even larger number. This is because it is during these months people hit the road for summer travel. The National Safety Council has forecasted that in 2016 there will be a total of 39,870 fatalities on our roads.
Fatal motor vehicle accidents are often the result of driver negligence. Driving while intoxicated, fatigued or distracted all contribute to the current crisis we are facing on American roads. And if you should lose a loved one due to such negligence, you may wish to have an experienced personal injury attorney help you seek compensation.
An attorney can investigate the accident and help you decide the best course of action. Given the circumstances, filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party or parties may be in your family’s best interests. Or the attorney could be your representative when seeking appropriate recompense from insurance companies.