According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of deaths from motor vehicle accidents in 2015 increased by 7.2 percent. Mississippi motorists may be surprised to know that this was the highest single-year increase since 1966. The total number of fatalities, 35,092, is lower than the 42,708 who died in 2005, but the rate had been steadily declining up through 2014.
Experts say a decrease in drunk driving, more seat belt usage and better safety features on cars have all contributed to the declining rate prior to 2015. The U.S. Transportation Secretary requested that researchers and other experts examine the new data to determine ways to address the increase in fatalities.
However, there are already some clues to the causes. The NHTSA reported a significant 2015 increase in vehicle miles driven. More mileage means more potential for accidents and fatalities. Furthermore, speeding and drunk driving were factors in almost one-third of the fatalities, and almost half of the deceased were not wearing seat belts. Distracted driving was also involved in around 10 percent of the deaths.
Even a motor vehicle accident that is not fatal can still be devastating for an injured victim. Their life could be significantly changed for months or even permanently depending on the nature of their injuries. In order to recover suitable compensation, the victim may want to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. This might be a driver, a car manufacturer or another party. The responsible party might offer an out-of-court settlement, or the case might proceed to civil court.