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The rise in vehicle deaths

Motorists in New York may be interested to know that according to the National Safety Council, a nonprofit safety advocacy group, the number of traffic deaths in the United States was over 40,000 in 2016, the first time since 2007. This is as the lower price of gas at the pumps and a healthy economy is contributing to an increase in driving.

The 40,200 deaths in 2016 were a 6 percent increase from 2015 and a 14 percent increase from 2014. Findings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also indicate that there was a rise in fatal traffic accidents as the agency reported an 8 percent increase in fatalities during the first nine months of 2016 when compared to the number of deaths during the same period in 2015.

The National Safety Council also issued survey findings that reported the driving behaviors of motorists. Almost half of the respondents stated that they are comfortable with texting while driving. Ten percent of the drivers admitted to driving while drunk, and 43 percent of those drivers were involved in a crash while they were impaired. The survey results also show that 16 percent of drivers fail to use their seat belts all the time, and 25 percent engage in speeding on residential streets.

The National Safety Council has renewed calls for to prohibit any mobile phone use, including hands-free systems, while operating a motor vehicle. The organization has also pushed for compulsory ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers and a three-tiered licensing system for new drivers younger than 21.

A personal injury attorney may assist victims of motor vehicle accidents by holding the liable parties financially responsible for injuries that were sustained. This could be through negotiations with the at-fault motorist's insurance company or through a formal trial.

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