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Analyzing over a century of fatal U.S. motor vehicle accidents

As time has gone on, motor vehicles have become far more advanced -- not just in their capabilities to maneuver out on the road, but in their ability to protect the people inside of them too. This has done wonders for the motor vehicle accident fatality rate, but that doesn't mean that everything is peachy in the world of road safety.

For most of the 1900s, the fatal accident rate was poor. In the early years, they almost never happened -- which is to be expected. The automobile industry wasn't fully formed yet. But by the 1960s and 1970s, people were dying in motor vehicle accidents at increasingly disturbing rates. For many years, there were upwards of 40,000, and even 50,000, people dying in automobile accidents.

In 2008, there was a major push to reduce motor vehicle accident fatalities, and that yielded a year with fewer than 40,000 deaths. And for most of the past decade, the number has continued to decline, staying in the low 30,000s.

However, in 2015 and 2016, the fatality rate jumped up by noticeable increments. 2015 saw a 10.5 percent increase over 2014 (with 35,485 people dying in motor vehicle accidents), and 2016 saw a 5.6 percent increase over 2015 (with 37,461 people dying in motor vehicle accidents).

Many different factors could be contributing to this rise, but the main lesson as always is this: if you are involved in a car accident, be ready to protect yourself and your rights.

Source: Wikipedia, "Motor vehicle fatality rate in U.S. by year," Accessed April 6, 2018

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