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Distractions and speed cause most fatal car accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the daily average of fatal crashes nationwide, including upstate New York, is 90 people. This is based on 2014 data when more than 32,600 people lost their lives in car accidents. Those numbers included single and multiple-vehicle wrecks. Some of the people who suffered fatal injuries died at the scene while others succumbed to their injuries later. In many cases, the survivors are left with long-term health problems or even disabilities.

If motorists understand why the number of fatal accidents is so high, the NHTSA says they might avoid becoming a part of those concerning statistics. Distracted driving is by far the most prevalent cause of deaths on U.S. roads. Statistics show that younger drivers -- ages 15 through 20 -- make up most distracted driving fatalities. After mobile phone distractions, reaching for objects on the floor, looking at passengers and fiddling with the radio, eating and drinking beverages are often the cause of devastating accidents.

When it comes to excessive speed, NHTSA says high-speed fatal accidents involve more young men and teenagers than females of all ages. They warn that the higher the speed, the more likely fatalities will be in the event of a crash. Another concern is that many high-speed fatalities also involve alcohol and drug impairment.

Other causes of fatal car accidents involve drivers impaired by prescription medicines, failure to wear a seat belt, disregarding road signs, and not adjusting to weather and road conditions. When a loved one dies due to a negligent driver in New York state, the surviving family members can consult with an experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorney to discuss the viability of a civil lawsuit. Legal counsel can provide support and guidance throughout ensuing legal proceedings as they pursue financial relief.

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