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Accident deaths rose in first three quarters of 2015

According to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of fatalities during the first three quarters of 2015 jumped 9.3 percent from the same period in 2014. New York is included in Region 2 with New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and there was a slight increase in car accident deaths for that region.

The rise in crash fatalities comes after there was a decline for several years. Between 2000 and 2014, car accident deaths declined by approximately 22 percent. While there were 23,796 deaths in the first three quarters of 2014, more than 26,000 is the estimate for the same period in 2015. The NHTSA also reports that preliminary data from the Federal Highway Administration shows a 3.5 percent rise in vehicle miles traveled for the period, which is about 80.2 billion miles.

Among the 10 regions of the United States, Region 2 had the second-to-lowest increase in crash fatalities. The lowest was 2 percent in Region 6, which includes Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The highest was 20 percent in Region 10, which includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

These preliminary statistics indicate that the NHTSA must do more to reduce crash deaths, the agency said. It has started a series of summits in each region to examine the unsafe driving behaviors and human errors that contribute to the national rate of traffic fatalities.

Although a majority of drivers do what they can to avoid car accidents, some do not. This may mean that they drive drunk, ignore traffic signals and signs, or do not take the necessary precautions in inclement weather. When a negligent driver causes a fatal accident, the survivors of the victims might be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit filed with the assistance of an attorney against the at-fault motorist.

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