Traffic fatalities are soaring in Kentucky and elsewhere

Traffic fatalities so far this year have risen across the country, but especially so in Kentucky.

Kentucky is experiencing an alarming growth in traffic fatalities based on a report recently released by the National Safety Council (NSC). According to WWMT News, while traffic deaths rose across the country during the first six months of 2016, Kentucky saw one of the most dramatic increases. The rise in fatalities has raised concerns among law enforcement officials and safety advocates. While low gas prices and greater car ownership is certainly behind some of the rise, distracted driving is also believed to be playing a big role.

Traffic deaths keep rising

The NSC estimates that across the country about 19,100 people died in traffic accidents during the first half of 2016 and that a further 2.2 million were seriously injured. Those figures represent a nine percent increase from the first half of 2015, when 17,530 people died in traffic accidents across the U.S. Furthermore, it's an especially alarming 18 percent increase from 2014's figures, when 16,251 people died during the first half of that year.

Certain states have been particularly hard hit, including Kentucky. While Florida saw the largest increase in fatalities over the past two years, at 43 percent, Kentucky also saw a a very worrying rise of 24 percent in traffic fatalities, well above the national average.

Why are traffic deaths rising?

The main explanation for why traffic deaths are rising largely has to do with the economy. As the economy improves, more people are able to afford cars and to spend more time on the road. Greater employment also translates into more people commuting to and from work. Furthermore, cheap gas prices also encourage people to spend more time in their cars. With drivers spending more time on the road, the opportunities for collisions to happen also increase.

Of course, an improving economy does not, in and of itself, cause car accidents. Indeed, in Kentucky the main problem appears to be distracted driving. As the Kentucky New Era reports, statistics from the Kentucky State Police show that distraction was a factor in 40 percent of all traffic accidents in the state in 2015. In comparison, alcohol was considered a factor in less than three percent of Kentucky traffic accidents last year.

Personal injury law

With Kentucky's roads getting a lot more dangerous and with so many people distracted while behind the wheel, it is important for people to know where to turn to for help if they are involved in a crash. A personal injury attorney can assist those who have fallen victim to an accident. An experienced attorney can guide crash victims through the often complicated legal procedures that come up after an accident and advise them on what types of compensation they may be able to claim.