Traffic fatalities up in US in 2012; down in Wisconsin in 2013

After almost a decade of declining numbers, preliminary reports from the National Safety Council have shown that the number of traffic fatalities rose in 2012 across the country.

According to the NSC data, 36,200 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents during 2012. The NSC predictions represent at 5 percent increase from the number of traffic fatalities in 2011. The number of people killed in auto accidents has been steadily declining since 2005 - 2012 was the first time such figures rose in seven years.

In addition, more people sustained personal injuries in motor vehicle accidents in 2012. The NSC reports that 3.9 million people were injured in traffic collisions - a 5 percent increase from the year prior, as well. Not surprisingly, the expenses associated with motor vehicle accidents rose in 2012 - also up 5 percent to $276.6 billion.

Experts have speculated about the reasons for the increase in traffic fatalities across the country. The NSC focused in large part on the mild winter, which led to more motorists on the road. As the number of people on the road rises, the likelihood of a collision also increases.

In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identified specific types of collisions that are particularly concerning, including collisions involving:

  • Large trucks
  • Motorcycles
  • Bicycles
  • Pedestrians

In addition, distracted driving has led to an increasing number of traffic fatalities - in 2011, over 3,330 people were killed in such collisions.

Fewer traffic fatalities in Wisconsin in the early months of 2013

Despite the disheartening national news, the Wisconsin State Patrol has reported that the number of traffic fatalities dropped during the first few months of 2013. In fact, February 2013 was one of the top five safest months on the road in Wisconsin since the 1940s.

According to law enforcement officials, 28 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in Wisconsin in February 2013. In total, 76 people were killed during the first few months of 2013 in Wisconsin - down from 81 traffic fatalities during the same period in 2012.

Even though the early statistics are promising, Wisconsin law enforcement officials are quick to remind drivers to maintain safe driving practices on the road. As the weather improves, the number of traffic fatalities often rise, as more people are on the road driving at faster rates of speed.

In addition, motorists should always wear seatbelts when on the road and avoid distractions - especially from cellphones - to ensure they are focused on driving safely.

When someone is injured in a motor vehicle accident, he or she may be entitled to compensation. If you have been injured or lost a loved one, seeking the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney will ensure your rights are protected.