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When traffic deaths began to rise

Cars are getting safer, but traffic deaths have been going up in many areas. For example, in the first half of 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 15,014 people passed away. In the same period of time the next year, they projected that it would go up by just over 8 percent, to 16,225 deaths.

However, it was even worse than projected. By the end of June, it was reported that about 19,000 people had died. That was a 14 percent increase. It made it likely that 2015 would be the deadliest year on American highways since 2007, almost a decade before.

As that stat implies, the numbers had been falling. That's why it was so concerning to see them going back up again last year, reversing that trend.

There had also been some big jumps in 2013 and 2014, though, according to reports. For example, there were 132 pedestrians who died back in 2013. That went up by an astounding 28 percent in 2014, reaching 170 deaths.

Those years appear to be the turning point. In 2013, there had been a drop of 3.1 percent from the previous year, 2012. Data shows that 32,719 people died that year. Since 2004, the number of deaths had fallen by a total of 25 percent.

As you can see, these stats do tend to go in waves, and it's important to know the risks and dangers when you're on the road. Many things play into the equation, such as the number of drivers or the total number of miles driven in a year. If you've lost a loved one in a deadly accident, you may be able to seek compensation.

Source: EndDD, "Traffic Safety Facts," accessed Sep. 28, 2016

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Brian Jensen

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