The Law Offices of John Phebus

Fatality rate increased during first six months of 2016

Arizona motorists might want to take heed of a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and drive more carefully. According to the NHTSA, almost 18,000 people were killed during the first six months of 2016, and if the numbers continue, 2016 will have the largest increase in traffic fatalities in several decades.

The year-over-year increase in 2016 from the first six months of 2015 is more than 10 percent. The increasing fatality rate prompted the government to adopt a goal of reaching zero traffic deaths within 30 years. In 1997, Sweden adopted such a measure, reducing the rate of death from 7 out of 100,000 to less than 3 out of 100,000 in 15 years.

According to safety experts, human factos are responsible for 94 percent of accidents. Driverless cars may help to reach the goal by eliminating human error. The government said that it will offer $3 million each year over the next three years to groups that are working to reach zero fatalities. The director of the Governors Highway Safety Association said more action needs to be taken to address distracted driving and drowsy driving. Efforts have primarily focused on drunk driving and seat belt use.

When a person dies in a fatal car crash that was caused by a driver's negligence, the victim's family may be left to struggle with unexpected expenses and losses in addition to their grief and pain. Families may be able to hold the driver accountable for his or her actions by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. A personal injury attorney may work to recover damages so that the family may receive just compensation for their economic and non-economic losses. The recoverable damages might include reasonable funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses for treatment prior to the victim's death, lost expected future income, lost inheritance rights, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.

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