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Highway traffic deaths increased in 2015

According to government data, 2015 was not a good year for drivers in Michigan and across the United States. That's because the number of individuals killed on the nation's highways rose by 7.2 percent from 2014.

The deaths of 35,092 people in 2015 represented the largest single year increase since 1966, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal agency that compiled the data. Prior to 2015, traffic deaths had been going down over the last decade. Researchers have pointed out that roads are still much safer than they were in 2005 when 42,508 people died in car accidents. More people wearing seat belts, fewer drunk drivers and vehicle safety improvements have been credited for the reduction in fatalities. However, agency officials say that 2015 experienced an increase because lower fuel costs and job growth spurred more driving on American roadways.

The federal agency noted that almost half of the deaths involved people who were not wearing seat belts. Almost 30 percent died in car accidents caused by drunk or speeding drivers. About 10 percent of the deaths were attributed to distracted drivers.

Innocent people can suffer serious injuries or even die when negligent drivers take to the road. Whether they are drunk drivers, speeders, or drivers who text and drive, negligent drivers can cause an accident at any moment. Victims could be eligible for compensation for their injuries as well as pain and suffering. A personal injury attorney might be able to help victims file a civil lawsuit and obtain compensation.

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