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Fatal car accidents rose in Kentucky in 2016

Kentucky Office of Highway Safety statistics have just been released for 2016 and they show that fatalities resulting from car accidents were on the increase last year. Failure to use a seatbelt and driving under the influence of alcohol are again shown to be to blame for the rise.

The raw statistics show that, as of December 28, 2016, there had been more than 803 vehicle-related deaths resulting from car accidents during the year throughout the state. That number is 50 more than in 2015 and 131 higher than in 2014.

Of those fatalities resulting from car crashes this year, 304 were attributed to a failure to wear a seat belt and 139 involved alcohol. Among the aggregate total of fatal accidents in Kentucky in 2016, 80 were pedestrian-related and 92 involved motorcyclists, 61 of which were not wearing helmets.

Kentucky's Pulaski county ranks high among those counties most affected by traffic fatalities. In 2016, more than 16 fatal crashes occurred in the county, an increase of two from 2015. One such accident investigation, which is still open, involves a June 20, 2016 hit-and-run that claimed the life of a 10-year-old young boy.

The increase Kentucky has seen this year in traffic-related deaths is only a small microcosm of the uptick in vehicular fatalities being seen all across the country. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that while 2015 showed the most significant increase in deaths resulting from car crashes since 1966; the first half alone of 2016 showed a 10.4-percent increase from the 2015 statistic for the same.

Federal officials attribute responsibility for 90 percent of these crashes to driver error. Given this trend, their recommendation to local law enforcement agencies has championed increased visibility and public awareness of the repercussions of violating certain traffic laws as a way to reduce future statistics.

If the data surrounding vehicle-related deaths on Kentucky's roadways during 2016 was not staggering enough, there are thousands who also suffered permanent injuries not included in these numbers. If you or anyone you know has been involved in a motor vehicle accident in which they have either been seriously injured or lost their life, a personal injury attorney can help them to understand their rights to compensation.

Source: Commonwealth Journal, "Traffic fatalities in Kentucky, Pulaski were up in 2016," Jan. 06, 2017

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