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Data reveals that fatal accidents have increased significantly in Nevada and the nation. The increases are partly due to distracted driving and are worse in congested areas.

Nevada Sees an Increase in Fatal Accidents

Cars have become safer with the addition of technological safety features such as automatic braking systems, lane departure warnings and backup cameras. Despite these advances, however, recent data released by the Department of Transportation shows that fatality accidents have surged in the U.S. and in Nevada.

Increases in Recent Years

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the number of accident fatalities increased by 7.2 percent in 2015, marking the largest single-year increase in traffic fatalities in half a century. The U.S. Department of Transportation reported that the first six months of 2016 have had a fatality increase of 10.4 percent. In 2015, the age group that was responsible for the largest increase in traffic fatalities was made of young drivers. While some states showed a decline in motor vehicle collisions between 2014 and 2016, other states, including Nevada, showed large increases. According to the Property Casualty Insurers of America, Nevada had an increase of 9.7 percent during that time period.

Factors Driving the Increase

The NHTSA reports that human factors are a primary cause of the increasing numbers of fatality accidents. The leading causes of human choice-related accident deaths include distracted driving, failing to wear seat belts, impaired driving and speeding. Distracted driving caused more accidents than did the other factors, and larger increases were seen in areas that have high congestion. A study by True Motion that was conducted with half a million drivers found that many people tend to pick up their smartphones and access apps when they are in congested traffic, leading to accidents.

Steps to Be Taken

Parents should model good driving behaviors by not using cellphones and always wearing seat belts. Adults should talk with their kids about safe driving practices and make firm rules about not texting and driving or driving impaired. Injury lawyers may help when people have been injured in accidents caused by driver negligence.