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More car accidents across the U.S. is a growing problem

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The roads in New Jersey and across the U.S. have become increasingly dangerous. Studies are examining the jump in crashes in recent years, and researchers are trying to determine how and why this is happening. Across the nation in the past year, the number of fatalities on the road rose to their highest number in almost 10 years. According to the National Safety Council, in 2016 alone, there was a 6 percent rise with approximately 40,200 fatalities. This is an increase of nearly 3,000 from 2015. There have not been more than 40,000 fatalities in one year since 2007.

In New Jersey, 12 people in Sussex County died in 2016. That is the highest number since 2012 when there were 15. Cape May County also had 12. And Hunterdon County had 11. In Burlington County, there were 50 fatalities.

It is believed that the number of people on the road is contributing significantly to the increase in deaths from a car accident. The stronger economy and reduction in gas prices are thought to be factors in the rising number of drivers taking to the road.

It is similarly believed that accidents are increasing in recent years because of smartphone use behind the wheel, the number of people who are driving at excessive speed and under the influence and the decision not to wear seatbelts. Smartphones and people operating their vehicles while multitasking places other drivers in jeopardy. In 2014, the last year in which statistics for distracted drivers is available, experts found that nearly 3,200 people died and 431,000 were injured because of drivers who were distracted. New Jersey has hefty fines for drivers who are cited for driving while distracted, but that does not appear to be making a dent in the problem.

Understanding the causes of an auto accident and making certain to be aware of potential dangers is key, but unfortunately, this will not prevent many crashes. When there is a serious injury, those who are affected will have medical expenses, lost time at work and other costs. With a fatality, the family left behind will need to adapt to a loved one no longer being there. This can leave a financial and emotional void. With this in mind, those who have been injured or lost a loved one need to know how to pursue compensation with help from an attorney who is experienced in filing cases due to car accidents.

Source: njherald.com, "2016 traffic deaths at highest level in decade," accessed March 16, 2017

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