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Traffic fatalities on the rise

Fatal car accidents are becoming more common in Georgia and throughout the U.S., according to figures released by the National Safety Council. Agency officials say that there were more than 40,000 traffic fatalities in 2016, which was a 6 percent gain from the previous year.

Also according to the National Safety Council, almost half of drivers say they text and drive, and about one in 10 said they had driven while intoxicated. Of that 10 percent, almost half were in a crash while drunk. One-quarter admitted to speeding on residential streets, and 16 percent said that sometimes they did not wear seat belts.

It is believed that because gas prices are down and the economy has improved, more people are on the road. However, the chief executive of the National Safety Council said that while vehicle miles driven had gone up 3 percent, this did not fully explain the 6 percent increase in deaths. The organization recommended that all drunk drivers should be required to install ignition interlock devices. It also proposed a three-tier driver's licensing system for drivers younger than 21 and a ban on regular and hands-free mobile phone use.

Drivers who are texting and driving, driving under the influence or speeding are more likely to cause accidents. If a person is injured in an accident caused by a reckless driver, they may think that as long as the driver is insured, their medical costs will be covered. However, this might not be the case, and the injured person might also be struggling with lost wages if they cannot work while they are recovering from the accident. An injured individual might want to contact an attorney about what they should do in such a circumstance.

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