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Police say long-term trend continues to show the state is making progress

Preliminary figures suggest traffic fatalities in Ohio increased last year from a record low in 2013, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Police say that over 1,000 people were killed in fatal car accidents in the state last year, although they point out that over the long term, traffic fatalities are still down considerably in Ohio. Overall, traffic deaths have been going down throughout the U.S. in the past few decades, a decline that is being attributed to safer car and highway designs and increased police enforcement.

Traffic deaths increase

The Ohio State Highway patrol says traffic deaths in 2014 may have exceeded 1,010, with the final number depending on the results of a number of ongoing investigations. That figure represents an increase from the year before, when Ohio recorded a record low number of traffic fatalities of 990.

While it is difficult to say why traffic fatalities were up in 2014, one factor that accounts for year-on-year differences is bad weather. In November, in particular, poor weather throughout the state led to an uptick in fatal accidents.

Long-term trend encouraging

Police also say that it is important to focus on the long-term trend. The average annual traffic fatalities in the state between 2009 and 2013 was 1,046, meaning that 2014 was still a relatively good year in terms of safety. Compared to the 1960s, when over 2,700 people died in traffic accidents in a single year, the declines are even more impressive.

That trend has been seen across the U.S. While nationwide traffic fatality statistics for 2014 have yet to be released, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 2013 was tied with 2011 as being the safest year for motorists on record, according to the Los Angeles Times. Traffic fatalities declined by 3.1 percent in 2013 throughout the U.S. Officials say the decline is because cars are designed better today than in the past and that police forces having been cracking down on dangerous driving behavior, such as by increasing seat belt enforcement and DUI arrests.

Motor vehicle accidents

While 1,000 deaths may be an improvement over just a few decades ago, such knowledge is little comfort to the thousands of families who have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident. Furthermore, those statistics fail to take into account the thousands of people who were injured in car accidents and whose lives have been changed forever as a result.

Anybody injured in a crash or who has lost a loved one in an accident should reach out to a personal injury attorney today. While pursuing financial compensation can never make up for the pain and loss suffered by victims and their families, it can be an important resource to help ease the financial burden that often arises following an accident.