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Traffic deaths stay above 40,000

Although traffic deaths declined in California and throughout the country last year, they still topped 40,000 for the third straight year. This was according to the National Safety Council. It was also reported that serious injuries were up 1 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. Driver distraction is cited as a key reason why traffic fatalities are so common. Since 2008, infotainment systems and smartphones have grown in popularity.

If there is a silver lining, advanced safety features may be able to help drivers stay safe while on the road. For example, emergency braking systems are available in some vehicles, and pedestrian detection systems are being developed. However, pedestrian detection systems are not available in a large enough number of vehicles to have any statistically significant impact on traffic fatality rates. Even if a car does have such features, they may not be equally effective across all makes and models.

Drivers may also be able to play a role in reducing the number of crashes and deaths on roadways. Eliminating distracted or drowsy driving could avoid accidents in some situations. According to the National Safety Council, distracted driving was the cause of 8 percent of crashes in 2017. Drowsy driving was believed to have caused another 2 percent of accidents during that year.

If a person is hurt in a car crash, it may be possible to take legal action against an individual or corporate entity responsible for causing it. In some cases, multiple parties might be liable for damages. An attorney may help gather witness statements, police reports or other information to help an individual show that negligence was the cause of an accident. If successful, a crash victim might be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other damages related to the accident.

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