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Fatal New Hampshire car accidents increase by 20 percent in 2012

A recent report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that more people died on New Hampshire roadways in 2012 than in 2011. This follows a national trend that saw a 3.3 percent increase in fatal car accidents. However, the NHTSA also stated that preliminary numbers for the first six months of this year show a 4.2 percent decrease in traffic fatalities compared to the same period last year.

Our state saw 108 traffic-related deaths last year. Of those, 29.6 percent of them or 32 deaths were due to alcohol-related crashes. Nationally, 33,561 people died on our nation's roadways. The NHTSA believes that the warmer than usual winter during the first three months of 2012 was a factor. More than half of the fatalities were motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

To reduce the number of traffic-related deaths and injuries, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation began the "Driving Toward Zero" campaign in June 2012. While the DOT commissioner stated that zero traffic fatalities is an unrealistic goal, our state is doing what it can to make the roads safer. Efforts to reduce the number of car accidents include adding safety features, such as rumble strips, to our roadways.

Making the roads safer is just one part of reducing car accidents. Drivers still need to exercise caution on the roads. When a crash results in injury or death, the survivors and decedent's loved ones may wish to discuss their options with someone who is knowledgeable about the personal injury laws in our state. In many cases, a successful personal injury or wrongful death claim depends on having evidence that the accident resulted from someone else's negligence. Any compensation awarded can help injured parties or grieving families with the financial consequences of the accident, in addition to giving them a sense of closure.

Source: Concord Monitor, NHTSA: Crash deaths up 20 percent in N.H. in 2012, Ben Leubsdorf, Nov. 17, 2013

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