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The next time you get in your car to run an errand, or take a road trip, make sure that you are safe and respectful to those around you, and be aware of the potential hazards of automobile travel. Recent studies show that motor vehicle deaths in the first eight months of 2012 have increased by a dramatic 7% over those statistics measured in 2011, and show a continued increase of 5% from those measured in 2010. The total for the first eight months of 2012 was 21,560, as opposed to those of 2011, 20,200.

These statistics are not only daunting for the vehicular community, but also for the medical community. In both 2012 and 2011, medical injuries as a result of motor vehicle accidents were an estimate 2.2 million cases, which are cases separate and distinct from disabling injury estimates of previous years.

If the prior statistics weren’t enough to make the everyday driver a bit more concerned about the hazards of their daily commute and weekend road trips, consider that the cost of deaths, injury, and property damage as a result of motor vehicle accidents total a staggering $157 billion, which marks an increase from 2011. This figure includes wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, and other damages.

With the amount of individuals on the road increasing, and the necessity for local and interstate travel increasing, it is important that commuters stay aware and advised of all traffic hazards and posted signage and pattern changes to ensure their travels are safe, and their arrivals secure. Distracted driving can be deadly. There are hazards that the driver can avoid easily by not talking or texting on their mobile phone, purchasing a hands free or Bluetooth device for their mobile phone, and making sure that all distractions within the car are minimized and all windows and blind spots visible.

Although the number of individuals on the road may be increasing, each of us can do our part to ensure that the number of accidents on the road decrease. Drive safe, and arrive alive.

Lindsay Rakers, Illinois accident attorney, Missouri accident attorney

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