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Motor vehicle accidents claim too many lives

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 35,000 people died on American roads in 2015. This staggering statistic was an increase over the 2014 total, which reached 32,744 fatalities. The increase in losses of life was the greatest one year increase in the last 50 years of data. Kentucky residents suffered losses in this incredible national tragedy.

The 7.2 percent increase in traffic-related deaths was distributed across the board in terms of accident types. Deaths from passenger vehicles, such as cars, light trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles all increased, as did deaths from motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian collisions. Drunk driving accidents and related deaths also rose above their 2014 levels.

While these figures do include accidents that involved only one vehicle, many of these losses were incurred due to the negligent and reckless conduct of dangerous drivers. Negligent driving can take on many forms, whether through intoxicated driving or one of the myriad of ways distraction can create dangerous driving conditions. Use of a smart or cell phone while driving, eating, grooming or even speaking with passengers in one’s own vehicle can all be distractions that take drivers’ eyes off of the road and place them and others in danger.

Traffic-related deaths on American roads are a real problem for every person in this country. Kentucky residents who have had to endure the traumatic experience of losing a loved one to a motor vehicle accident know that the emotional costs associated with laying a loved one to rest far exceed the medical and funeral expenses their final arrangements require. The emotional and psychological harm that families may endure for years after a tragic loss can plague individuals and their efforts to move forward after disaster strikes their family.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, “2015 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview,” accessed November 5, 2017