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Increase in traffic deaths in 2016

Oklahoma roadways may not be as safe as they have been over the past several years, according to government statistics. The number of fatal accidents across the country increased by more than 7 percent between 2014 and 2015, and the situation has become even more dire.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that within the first six months of 2016, traffic deaths increased by approximately 10 percent from the corresponding period in the prior year. It is believed that because more people have reentered the workplace since the recession, the number of miles driven went up considerably and may be a factor. Lower gas prices may have also contributed to the increase.

Statistics for traffic death and accident figures are supplied to the NHTSA by local and state police departments. Categories for the increased number of fatalities from 2013 to 2015 were not limited to drivers but included motor vehicle passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians and accidents that involved the use of alcohol. Light trucks and cars accounted for the highest increase in deaths.

In response to this disturbing trend, the U.S. Department of Transportation has announced an initiative to reduce the number of traffic fatalities to zero in the next 30 years. Part of this ambitious goal rests upon the future widespread availability of driverless cars, as it has been shown that human error is a factor in the overwhelming majority of accidents.

Unfortunately, fatal motor vehicle accidents will continue to occur. When such an accident is caused by the negligence of another driver, the surviving family members may want to meet with an attorney to see if the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault motorist would be an appropriate way to try to obtain compensation for their losses.

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