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Crash fatalities on the rise in the United States

With increasing access to technology to make vehicles safer, you'd expect the number of fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents to continue to fall on a yearly basis. What has some people reeling is the fact that the federal authorities have said that, for the first time since 1966, the number of fatalities have risen. It was no small rise; the number of fatalities was reported at least 7 percent higher than the year prior.

A total of 35,092 people were killed in 2015, 2,348 more than the year before. That increase is substantial enough to look into what has changed; in New Jersey, this means a forum to discuss how to curb the dangers of distractions, drowsy driving, drugs and drinking.

The forum, which has groups like the Teen Safe Driving Coalition and Motor Vehicle Commission weigh in on current concerns, meets to talk about issues like this and how they can be addressed in the future. The forum seems to be working; New Jersey had only a 1 percent increase compared to the national average of 7 percent. It's been discussed that if other states did the same, the number of traffic crashes could potentially be reduced.

That's not to say that New Jersey doesn't have its own road issues, though. Bicyclist and passenger deaths rose by 24 percent, while pedestrian deaths are maintaining at the same levels despite changes in overall traffic safety. For anyone who is hurt, medical bills and lost wages add up, also costing the state for lost work hours, taxes and other expenses. Those involved in crashes have the right to seek compensation from the person or parties who caused their injuries.

Source:, "Road Warrior: Road deaths take an alarming turn," John Cichowski, Sep. 15, 2016

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