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NSC estimates over 40,000 traffic deaths in 2018

The National Safety Council has come out with its preliminary estimate on car crash injuries and fatalities in 2018, and the conclusions are not heartening. It turns out that 2018 is the third year in a row to see more than 40,000 traffic deaths. Tennessee residents should know that though 2018 saw 1% fewer deaths than 2016 and 2017, the number still represents a 14% increase from 2015.

The NSC has not said anything definite about what is causing the trend, but there are several factors that can be gleaned. Distractions were behind 8% of crashes, and drowsiness explained 2% of accidents. The nationwide opioid crisis is leading to greater numbers of impaired drivers. In addition, more pedestrians died in 2018 compared to the previous year.

Some states saw more fatalities while others experienced a decrease. The former include Oregon, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Florida with a 5.8% increase, and the latter include Kansas, Maine, New Jersey and Rhode Island at a 9.4% decrease. As for injuries, there were 4.5 million cases of serious injuries nationwide: 1% fewer than in 2017.

More defensive driving and better familiarity with the safety features in one's own car are just two steps toward safer roadways. Drivers should take special care to avoid distractions and try to get the recommended seven hours of sleep each night.

If a negligent driver causes a car crash, then those injured through no fault of their own are entitled to compensation. Victims can file a claim and strive for an out-of-court settlement as long as they are less than 50% to blame. Since the process of building up a case and negotiating a settlement might be difficult, victims may want a lawyer by their side. A successful third-party insurance claim might cover losses like past and future medical expenses and lost wages.

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