Concern over increase in fatal car crashes

As New York drivers have witnessed, there seems to be an increase in traffic on the road. The increase is attributed to cheaper gas prices and a better economy. However, a downside is that it has been accompanied by an increase in fatal crashes. According to a report from the National Safety Council, 2016 traffic fatalities were up by 6 percent from 2015. A survey from the same group revealed that part of the problem might be drivers' attitudes.

In the survey, 47 percent of drivers admitted that they were comfortable texting and driving. Ten percent of drivers admitted to driving while under the influence of alcohol and of those, 43 percent said that they had been in accidents while driving drunk. Additionally, drivers seem to be taking a relaxed view on seat belt wearing, with 16 percent stating that they don't always wear seat belts. Finally, 25 percent of drivers surveyed declared that they were comfortable speeding through residential streets.

The results from the NSC report were echoed by those of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which found that in the first nine months of 2016, there had been an 8 percent increase in fatal accidents from the corresponding period of the previous year. In fact, fatalities from car accidents are at their highest level since 2007, rising above 40,000 deaths last year.

Fatal accidents have both an emotional and economic cost, which the NSC estimated at $432.5 billion last year. As a result, the NSC has proposed preventive measures such as banning the use of cellphones while driving, mandatory ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers and a licensing system that includes three tiers for all drivers under 21. In the meantime, people who have been harmed in an accident caused by a negligent driver might want to meet with an attorney to discuss how they can seek compensation for their losses.

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