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Traffic fatalities on the decrease

While heart disease, drugs and alcohol are some of the leading causes for death, many people die in motor vehicle accidents in New Jersey each year. In fact, almost 34,000 people died in a car-related accident throughout the nation during 2013, according to the latest findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The risk of dying in an auto crash is still a serious threat, even though since 1985, the number of fatal injuries has steadily decreased due to improvements in vehicle safety and design. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that traffic fatalities have declined by more than a third in the past three years.

The number one cause of death is heart disease, at a rate of one for every four people, according to CDC data from 2013. Next are various kinds of accidents, which kill one in 20 people. Drugs and alcohol come in third place, killing one in 34, followed by pneumonia, influenza and diabetes, which kill one in 46 people. Also, one in 53 die of poisoning, one in 63 die of suicide and 1 in 83 die from falls. Tied with auto-related deaths are gun-related fatalities at one in 77.

The top three states that have the highest auto-related mortality rates on a per-capita basis are Montana, Mississippi and Oklahoma, respectively. In contrast, New Jersey has one of the lowest such rates.

Auto accidents have the potential to cause catastrophic injuries that can end up being fatal. If family members suspect that their loved one died in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, an experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help the family pursue compensation via a wrongful death suit.

Source: Cars, "Are the Odds Ever in Your Favor? Car Crashes Versus Other Fatalities", Matt Schmitz, Oct. 16, 2015

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