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Fatal accident statistics show rise in most transport categories

While all roads in Louisiana - local and highway - can be dangerous, it is a statistical reality that those on highways are at higher risk to being in a fatal accident. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is in the process of formulating strategies for the next five years and seeks to make safety on highways a top priority. The statistics state that highway fatalities far surpass all other areas including pipelines, marine accidents, aviation accidents, and railroad accidents.

More than 39,000 people died in a transportation accident in 2017. That was an increase from 2015 when there were approximately 2,000 fewer fatalities. 95 percent of the fatalities occurred on highways. Truckers who were in medium and heavy vehicles had 57 more fatalities in 2016 than in 2015. In total, 722 of these truckers died in 2016, whereas 665 died in 2015. The chairman of the NTSB states that there must be more vigilance to prevent these accidents. Included in the plan are 315 "open safety recommendations" attempting to cut back on worrisome trends in fatalities during transportation. Trucking is impacted by these recommendations, particularly in reducing crashes.

The breakdown of fatalities for 2016 went as follows: deaths on the road rose to 37,461 from 35,485 from 2015 to 2016; passenger vehicle fatalities in that same time frame rose from 12,761 to 13,412; there were 733 railroad fatalities in 2016 vs. 708 in 2015; marine fatalities rose from 688 to 730 with recreational boating accounting for 96 percent; aviation fatalities decreased by four from 416 to 412 - 94 percent were general aviation; and air taxi deaths decreased by eight from 27 to 19.

These numbers are important to gauging the dangers on the road. People who are out in a vehicle, are bicyclists or pedestrians must be aware of the potential for injury and a fatality. Given the medical costs, lost time at work and other problems if there are injuries and long-term factors that affect loved ones after a fatality, a legal filing is frequently necessary to get adequate compensation. A lawyer experienced in wrongful death cases can help with moving forward.

Source: trucker.com, "Highway deaths remain largest portion of transportation fatalities," Nov. 21, 2017

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