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Deadly car accidents continue to rise in Wisconsin in 2017

On behalf of Jordan Blad at Alpert & Fellows

Traffic deaths in Wisconsin are rising again this year, thanks largely to distracted and impaired drivers.

Traffic deaths in Wisconsin are up this year and during July the state witnessed its deadliest month so far in 2017, according to Wisconsin Public Radio. The increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents has been fueled by a number of factors, with distracted and impaired driving being the main culprits. Safety experts point out that human error – such as distracted driving – is cancelling out what should be a dip in fatalities thanks to improved vehicle engineering.

A deadly summer on Wisconsin roads

As the Wisconsin State Journal reports, figures from the state’s Department of Transportation show that 66 people died on Wisconsin’s roads and highways during July 2017, making it the deadliest month so far this year. That figure is also three higher than the 63 deaths recorded in July 2016, which itself was up dramatically from the 39 fatalities in July 2015.

Across the entire year fatalities are also up, again by three, with traffic deaths at 338 as of the end of July. Most of those traffic deaths (192) were of car or truck drivers, followed by passengers at 59, motorcyclists at 45, and pedestrians at 38.

Distractions and drunk driving

Summer tends to be a particularly deadly time on the roads due to a number of factors. For one, there are simply more people driving and they are often on long road trips when fatigue and a lack of familiarity with the area both increase the chances of a crash. Another problem with summer driving is that it tends to attract more reckless and, in particular, impaired drivers.

However, those are factors that are true of every summer and don’t necessarily explain why the last two summers have been so particularly deadly. In fact, safety experts point out that improvements in car engineering mean that vehicles themselves are safer now than ever before.

What may explain the increase in deadly accidents, rather, is the continuing rise in distracted driving. Thanks both to smartphones and in-car infotainment systems, the number of distracted driving accidents has risen dramatically in recent years and has largely cancelled out the benefits th at would otherwise be seen from improved vehicle engineering. In fact, after long-term declines in traffic deaths, such fatalities are also rising dramatically across the United States, a fact that most safety experts believe is largely due to distracted drivers.

Personal injury law

A car accident can be a devastating experience, not only emotionally and physically, but financially as well. Accident victims are often overwhelmed by the sheer number of expenses that they have to contend with as a result of their accident, such as medical bills, therapy, car repairs, and lost income. However, there are ways to mitigate those costs. A personal injury attorney can assist accident victims in a number of ways, including by helping them understand what forms of compensation may be available to them and how to go about making an effective claim.