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Should Ohio, drivers nationally be alarmed by car accident report?

Drivers in Ohio and across the rest of the nation might be interested in the latest NHTSA study that shows projections for fatal car accidents. Estimates are that the traffic fatality rate nationally is headed up, and that's particularly disconcerting because the rate had been going down for the past six years.

Additionally, the first-half-year increase is the largest since 1975, which was the first year the NHTSA started to keep car crash records. It's easy to see that that's a problem, and drivers everywhere should be made aware that the drive to and from work is getting more dangerous. There are several reasons for the increase.

One of the biggest reasons for car accidents today is that motorists are simply being distracted at progressively higher levels. People are more tied to their electronic gadgets than they ever were in the past, and that's causing accident rates to rise.

Additionally, though, the NHTSA is quick to note that more confidence in the economy could also be behind the rise in accidents, because more people are getting in their cars and out onto the roads.

In a recession, traffic accident rates often drop. More people stay home and, since they aren't on the roads, the number of accidents with or without fatalities goes down. Rising confidence in the economy and other factors, though, caused a 13.4 percent increase in roadway fatalities in the first three months of 2012. The second quarter of the year saw fatalities that were up more than five percent from 2011, as well.

Source: Standard-Examiner, "Traffic deaths up for first time in 6 years," Ashley Halsey III, Oct. 4, 2012

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