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Distracted driving one cause of rise in fatalities

Kentucky parents can take steps to help keep their teenage children safer on the road by modeling driving behavior such as not using cellphones. It is also important to encourage teens to speak up if someone is driving in a dangerous way. Almost 3,000 teenagers around the country die each year due to motor vehicle accidents, and statistics show that traffic fatalities are on the rise.

In 2015, the number of traffic fatalities jumped 7.2 percent from the previous year despite the presence of more safety innovations such as anti-lock brake systems and air bags. The percentage increase was also the largest in 50 years. Furthermore, the percentage increase in fatalities among teens was the highest for any age group at 10 percent. Teenagers face almost three times the risk of dying in a traffic accident compared to other age groups.

A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that the largest increase in overall traffic fatalities in 2015 was distracted driving with an 8.8 percent rise. Behind it was lack of seat belt compliance at nearly 5 percent and speeding and impaired driving at 3 percent and 3.2 percent respectively. Educating drivers of all ages about safety behavior may be an important component in reducing these deaths.

Even nonfatal car accidents can have severe consequences for people who have been injured, including the need for expensive medical treatment and an inability to return to work during the period of recovery. When a person is injured in an accident that was caused by a driver who was distracted, impaired or otherwise negligent, an attorney could be of assistance in seeking compensation for those and other losses through a personal injury lawsuit filed against the motorist.

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