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Traffic fatalities increase on U.S. highways in 2012

Connecticut motorists may be interested to learn statistics for their state followed the national pattern of traffic fatalities increasing in 2012. Some 236 people were killed on Connecticut highways in 2012, up from 221 in 2011, says a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

After six years of a declining fatality rate on the nation's highways, the number of people killed rose from 32,479 in 2011 to 33,561 in 2012. Another 2.3 million people were injured in 1.6 million crashes that same year. Altogether, there were more than 5.6 million accidents reported to police in 2012; only property was damaged in the remainder of the accidents, according to a NHTSA report. The federal agency estimates that as many as 10 million more accidents are not reported to police.

Accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers and speeding drivers accounted for almost two-thirds of the fatalities. Some 10,322 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2012 while another 10,219 people were killed in accidents involving speeding. Other car accidents were caused by motorists running red lights, driving while they were overly tired or driving distracted, such as when they are texting or using a cell phone.

Accidents such as those listed above can be prevented if motorists exercise a duty of care while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, many drivers do not do this, and some people are injured or killed as a result. Injured victims or survivors of those killed in accidents caused by another person's negligence may be eligible for compensation under Connecticut's personal injury laws. An attorney may be able to explain how the severity of injuries can affect this compensation.

Source: NHTSA, "2012 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview," November 2013.

Source: Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, "Cost of Auto Crashes & Statistics", September 30, 2014

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