At the start of every new year, a review of the past year is conducted. While 2013 had its shares of highs and lows, a recent report on fatal New Hampshire car accidents shows our state is headed in the wrong direction on road safety.
Last year's total of 133 people killed in 122 traffic accidents was the highest in five years, the state police said.
That's a 20 percent rise in fatalities, a state police spokesperson said. He pointed to the usual suspects in the crashes: intoxicated drivers, speeding, unbuckled seatbelts and distracted drivers.
He said about 28 percent of the fatalities were caused by distracted drivers.
He said it isn't just calls that distract drivers, but that people are busy keying in passwords on their phones or reading text messages or using GPS or other attention-diverting features of electronics.
He recently spoke at a legislative hearing on proposals to crack down on distracted drivers. One proposed law would make all use of cellphones illegal while driving; another would attempt to ban all forms of distracted driving, including the reading of newspapers or applying make-up while driving; and a third bill is much narrower in scope, aimed at preventing distracted driving by people behind the wheels of school buses, taxis and the like.
Unsurprisingly, the state trooper also noted that the age-old problem of alcohol- or drug-impaired drivers remains with us, causing "at least a third of all fatal crashes."
When a crash causes serious injuries or fatalities, victims and victims' families are left to deal with devastating financial consequences.
As people grapple with painful new realities, they often rely on an experienced attorney to help them navigate the legal system as they seek to hold the responsible party accountable for damages.
Source: Ledger-Enquirer, "NH crash fatalities reach 5-year high in 2013," Lynne Tuohy, Jan. 19, 2014