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Serious Injuries and Deaths From Auto Accidents Are on the Rise

According to a recent report from the National Safety Council, an estimated 14 percent increase in traffic deaths occurred during the first half of 2015 in comparison with the first half of the prior year. In addition to this, the number of serious injuries from traffic accidents increased by about 30 percent in that time frame. From the beginning of January until the end of June, there were about 19,000 fatalities resulting from traffic accidents throughout the United States. There were about 2.2 million reports of serious injuries, which resulted in the country seeing its deadliest traffic accident year since 2007.

The NSC also said that costs were rising. For the first half of 2015, the estimated total cost of traffic injuries and deaths totaled more than $150 billion. The total was almost 25 percent higher than the total cost tallied in 2014. Experts at the NSC said that these numbers should be considered a red warning light to drivers across the nation. In response to the grim numbers, the NSC encouraged Americans to be safer, more defensive and make better decisions when driving. With the issue of driving safety, lives truly depend on safe driving habits from everyone.

Although the increased injury and death count may be caused by a wide variety of factors, the economy's improvement and the resulting lower gas prices are partly to blame. In addition to this, the lowered unemployment rates across the country mean more cars on the road. According to the NSC, the average price of gas is about 30 percent less than it was in 2014. Prices are expected to stay lower in the near future, which means more motorists will be on the road for both work and leisure.

There are several steps American drivers can take to make themselves, their families and other motorists safer on the road. To improve safety, the NSC recommends these tips:

  • Always have a designated driver or prearranged transportation plans when going out to drink.
  • Be sure to get enough sleep before driving long or short distances.
  • Avoid using a cell phone or a hands-free device while driving.
  • Make sure all passengers have their safety belts fastened before leaving.
  • Get familiar with the vehicle's safety features and how they work.
  • Since teens are three times as likely to be in an accident, be proactive with their vehicle use and driving education.
  • Stay familiar with the rules of the road by reading the state's DMV handbook periodically.
  • Practice safe winter driving procedures when traveling during the winter months.

If all American motorists work together to drive safely and be vigilant for other drivers, the streets and highways will be safer in 2016. To learn more about safety tips and how to be prepared with adequate auto insurance, discuss concerns with an agent.