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National fatality statistics for passenger vehicle accidents

Fatality statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation show that the most deaths resulting from traffic accidents occur among passenger vehicle occupants. Passenger vehicles are cars, pickup trucks, minivans, SUVs and large passenger vans. Residents of Connecticut might be intrigued to learn that in 2012, 33,561 crash deaths were reported, and 65 percent, or 21,795 people, were occupants of passenger vehicles.

The total number of deaths among passenger vehicle occupants in 2012 was 29 percent fewer than those reported in 1975. Broken down by type of vehicle, 9 percent more fatalities were reported among SUV occupants and 18 percent more were pickup truck occupants, but 49 percent fewer fatalities were car occupants. In the same year, 27 percent of the passenger vehicle occupant deaths were under the age of 25. Among the 9 percent of all deaths that occurred to occupants in the second or third row of the passenger vehicles, 26 percent were under the age of 13.

Among the drivers of passenger vehicles, 15,842 died in 2012, accounting for 73 percent of occupant deaths in passenger vehicles. About 26 percent of the deaths involved side crash impacts and 52 percent involved frontal impacts. Furthermore, 45 percent of crashes were single-vehicle accidents while 55 percent involved multiple vehicles.

When a fatal accident occurs in Connecticut, the he executor of the decedent's estate may file a wrongful death claim against the liable driver if his or her negligent actions caused the wreck. The executor may ask a lawyer to help with filing the claim for compensation. This could result in the recovery of economic damages like funeral and burial costs and noneconomic damages such as loss of consortium.

Source: State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, "3.4-7 Damages - Wrongful Death"

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, "General statistics", October 11, 2014

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