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Car crash deaths at their highest since 2007

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37,461 people were killed on America’s roadways in 2016, which is the highest the number has been since 2007 when 41,259 people died. This has raised concern among residents of Louisiana and other states who believed that new safety technology would help in preventing fatalities.

With features like automatic emergency braking, rear-view cameras, lane departure warning systems and advanced air bags, cars are technically safer than ever. However, the root of the problem still lies in the choices that drivers make; the NHTSA claims that these choices are what cause 94 percent of serious crashes.

Compared to 2015, there were 4 percent more speeding deaths in 2016. Failure to wear a seat belt contributed to 4.6 percent more fatalities. Deaths caused by DUI also rose by 1.7 percent. A common factor in many accidents was driver distraction, aggravated by technologies such as in-car touchscreen systems. However, deaths caused by distracted driving actually fell by 2.2 percent.

The federal government has been pushing to make self-driving vehicles as a way to reduce auto accident fatalities. The House of Representatives has approved a proposal that would allow automakers to deploy self-driving vehicles even though they may not meet current auto safety standards.

When an auto accident leads to death, the family might want to file a wrongful death suit. The first step may be to retain a lawyer to make sure that there’s sufficient proof of the other driver’s negligence or recklessness. Whether it was a hit-and-run accident or a head-on collision, the accident scene must be investigated; this is where a lawyer may bring in photographers and accident reconstruction professionals. The suit may end in a settlement compensating the family for pre-death medical bills, funeral expenses and loss of support or consortium.

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Chip Forstall
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