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Cok Kinzler PLLP

NSC notes positive trends in 2019 roadway fatality estimates

The National Safety Council estimates that there were 38,800 traffic fatalities in Montana and across the U.S. in 2019: a 2% decline from 2018 and a 4% decline from 2017. This is a positive trend after the spike in fatalities that 2015 and 2016 experienced. Overall, of course, road safety has vastly improved since the 1970s, but there are still areas of concern that the NSC has pointed out.

For example, there are advanced driver assistance systems, which, despite their benefits, can raise the risk for a crash by conditioning drivers to become over-reliant on them and thus complacent and inattentive. In fact, one may even link the rise of ADAS technology with the spike in fatalities in 2015 and 2016. To compound the problem, the effect of this technology has not been thoroughly studied feature by feature.

The NSC noted a 13% reduction in traffic deaths in Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C. In states like Nebraska, Ohio and Tennessee, though, there was a 5% increase in deaths. Distracted driving continues to be a leading concern. As for drunk driving, several states are successfully countering it with lower legal BAC levels. Ten major cities have adopted a Vision Zero model for reducing crash risk.

Ultimately, drivers are responsible for any car collisions they cause on account of inattention, intoxication or some negligent action. Those who are injured can be eligible for compensatory damages, but they may want some legal assistance before moving forward with a claim. If the lawyer negotiates for a settlement but the other side refuses to pay out or only offers a low settlement, then victims may consider litigation. If the claim is successful, victims might be reimbursed for medical costs, vehicle repairs and more.

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