South Carolina motorists might want to be more careful while driving since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released figures for traffic fatalities in 2015. More than 35,000 people died in automobile accidents in 2015, and this was a 7.2 percent increase over the previous year. Fatalities had been declining over the last few years due to better seat belt compliance, less drunk driving and safety technology such as air bags.
Experts say the higher numbers are partly due to the fact that total vehicle miles traveled increased in 2015. Jobs were on the rise, and fuel prices were lower. However, vehicle occupants bore some responsibility as well. Nearly 50 percent of the people killed were not wearing a seat belt while distracted driving was to blame in about 10 percent of deaths and drunk driving or speeding in about 30 percent.
The secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation stated in a press release that the public, scientists, researchers and other experts must work together to understand the causes and help reduce the incidence of deadly accidents. Not only drivers and passengers but pedestrians, bicycle riders and motorcyclists were included in the statistics.
Car accidents can result in catastrophic injuries that can be life-changing. Injured victims may require lengthy periods of expensive medical treatment during which time they are unable to earn a living. If it can be determined that the accident was caused by the negligence of another motorist, an attorney can assist a victim in seeking compensation for the losses that have been sustained through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.