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Fatal accidents trending in the wrong direction

Tens of thousands of people die in motor vehicle accidents throughout the country each year. That alone should inform people that driving can be very dangerous. But some people don't think about this when they get behind the wheel and can make an already dangerous endeavor even more so by doing things like texting and driving and disobeying posted speed limits.

People in the Charleston area should aim to never let their guard down with regard to driving safety. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration emphasizes this point by highlighting the sheer number of deadly accidents.

A statistical projection from the NHTSA shows that for the first half of this year, 17,775 people died in auto accidents. That high number of fatalities, by itself, is alarming. But even worse is the fact that this number represents a 10.4 percent increase from the number of fatal accidents during the first half of 2015. Also, the second quarter of 2016 was the seventh one in a row where motor vehicle accident fatalities increased year over year for the same quarterly period.

Although the data is not yet final, the NHTSA projections are a grim reminder that driving safety on America's roadways may be headed the wrong way. The stark data will no doubt spur tough talk, and possibly even some action, from lawmakers and governmental organizations like the NHTSA. While that may work to some degree over time, the only sure method of reducing accident injuries and fatalities is for every driver to take safety into their own hands and make it their highest priority.

In addition to individual drivers taking responsibility for the safety of themselves and others on the roadway, people who are injured in car accidents should use all available legal mechanisms to hold negligent drivers accountable. Likewise, surviving family members of deceased victims can pursue damages from drivers who may have caused the deadly accident at issue.

Source: NHTSA, "Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Half (Jan-Jun) of 2016," accessed on Oct. 27, 2016

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Charleston, WV 25301

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