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Traffic fatalities on the rise: What's causing them?

The National Safety Council (NSC) recently reported that car accident fatalities increased nine percent in the first six months of 2016 when compared with 2015. Unfortunately, Florida tops the list of states that have been hard hit. Since 2014 the agency reports a staggering 43 percent increase.

This is part of a continuing trend and prompted the NSC to issue its highest fatality estimate - 438 deaths - for the Labor Day holiday weekend since 2008. While actual numbers on accidents and deaths over the holiday are not yet available, we want to look at some of the causes.

Factors to blame

How can we explain the increasing number of fatal car accidents as vehicles come better equipped with forward-collision warning systems, backup cameras and blind-spot warning alerts? Technology is likely a double-edged sword.

As safety technology improves, a wide variety of comfort and entertainment features also have been added that pose a new myriad of distractions.

Children no longer just argue in the back seat, but they can watch Spongebob or search for elusive Pokémon characters hiding around every curve. Changing the radio station involves choosing from hundreds of satellite channels. And like subjects in a Pavlov's dog-type experiment, we have been programmed to immediately respond to our phones. Ignoring that irresistible beep when a text message or Facebook notification arrives is difficult.

The downside to safety technology

We also have to consider the psychological impact of advanced safety features. They may make drivers complacent. For instance, a driver might not check over his or her shoulder or in their rearview mirror when counting on cameras and alarms to alert of dangers.

Though these features are designed to make driving safer, too much reliance on technology can put lives at risk. After all, technological failures and glitches have yet to be eliminated from the world. Finally, changing weather patterns may have something to do with the uptick in traffic crashes.

When the negligence of another driver plays a role in a fatal crash a wrongful death claim may hold that person responsible. These claims are difficult and come with complex causation issues. But an experienced attorney can often get to the bottom of what happened and uncover negligent actions.

If a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a Fort Walton Beach area accident, call Brannon & Brannon to discuss what happened. For decades, we have been helping injury victims. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can ensure that your family's rights are protected.

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Our legal team consists of attorney Wm. Dennis Brannon and his son C. Paul Brannon. We work together as a father and son team to provide our clients with exceptional service and solutions in motor vehicle accident claims and other personal injury matters.

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