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Car accident fatalities are increasing

Fatal car accidents can change families forever, which is why legal protections are available to help surviving family members. Both the first half of 2016 and the first half of 2015 saw increases in car accident fatalities. The National Safety Council recently reported a 9 percent increase in car accident fatalities from January to June 2016 when compared to the same period of time in 2015. The increase in 2016 is an 18 percent increase over the same time period in 2014. A total of 19,100 victims were killed on the roadways during the first half of 2016 in the U.S.

The National Safety Council reports that a variety of factors have contributed to the increase, including an improved economy, lower gas prices and an increase in distracted driving behaviors. A survey of young drivers ages 15 to 17 reflected they engage in a number of distracted driving behaviors, with 43 percent reporting a willingness to text while driving. Drivers are also using a variety of social media platforms while driving. While texting and driving has been banned in more than 46 states and education concerning the dangers of distracted driving have been increased, drivers continue to engage in distracted driving behaviors.

Families that have unexpectedly lost a loved one in a fatal accident have many concerns facing them following the loss of their loved one. Legal protections are in place to ensure that family members do not have to face financial and emotional challenges on their own after their loved one has been wrongfully killed in a fatal accident. When a negligent driver has caused a fatal accident, surviving family members may be able to recover damages for the emotional and financial difficulties they face through a wrongful death claim.

Understandably, families may feel overwhelmed following the loss of a loved one. As a result, they should be familiar with the legal remedies and resources available to them to help with whatever challenges they may face.

Source: CNBC, "Traffic fatalities on the rise as Americans drive more miles, text behind the wheel," Phil LeBeau, Aug. 23, 2016

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