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NSC releases preliminary 2017 traffic accident fatality figures

Motor vehicle accidents in Nevada and around the country claimed 40,100 lives in 2017 according to preliminary data from the National Safety Council. This represents a modest fall of 1 percent over 2016 figures, but it also marks the second consecutive year that road deaths have surpassed 40,000. Advocacy groups like the NSC are unlikely to celebrate the news as it reveals that efforts to improve road safety after the sharpest two-year rise in accident fatalities in more than half a century have been largely ineffective.

In addition to the lives lost, car accidents in 2017 injured 4.57 million road users seriously enough to warrant medical treatment and drained an estimated $413.8 billion from the nation's economy. The NSC figures are based on data collected from every state and the District of Columbia and account for accidents that take place in parking lots and on private roads. The nonprofit group also uses information provided by the National Center for Health Statistics.

Steps to improve road safety supported by the NSC include encouraging motorists to learn about defensive driving techniques, enforcing traffic laws more rigorously and passing stricter drunk driving and seat belt legislation. The organization also supports graduated driver's license programs for young drivers and public information campaigns that draw attention to the dangers of impaired, distracted and drowsy driving.

Analyzing statistics released by groups like NHTSA and the NSC reveals that the vast majority of traffic accidents in the United States involve human error of one sort or another. When road users are injured due to the negligent actions of others, experienced personal injury attorneys may file lawsuits to hold the reckless drivers responsible accountable for their actions in civil court. Litigation brought on behalf of car accident victims might seek compensation for their medical expenses, property damage and lost income.

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