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How Does Oklahoma Stack Up In Fatal Car Accidents?

Automobile accidents occur in every state, and far too many of them result in someone dying from their accident-related injuries. So how does Oklahoma stack up against other states when it comes to fatal car accidents?

Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Federal Highway Administration, and other sources show that Oklahoma has a high number of traffic fatalities by population compared to other states. Oklahoma is tied with Alabama for fifth place in the number of fatal traffic accidents per 100,000 residents. Our state has 17.6 roadway deaths for every 100,000 people who live in the state. Although about 84 percent of residents use seatbelts when in a vehicle, the state still has a relatively high number of traffic deaths. In 2016, that number was 683 people who lost their lives in Oklahoma motor vehicle accidents.

The numbers behind these rankings are a few years old, but they nonetheless show that people in Oklahoma have work to do when it comes to safer driving. In today's world, it can be easy to become distracted by smart phones, in-vehicle electronic displays and other things. But when a driver lets their mind wander from the road and to something else, they are risking their own life and the lives of everyone on the road around them.

When someone loses their life in an accident caused by the negligence of another person, the surviving family members can pursue a wrongful death cause of action. Through this kind of lawsuit, the deceased victim's estate can recover medical and funeral expenses as well as other damages.

closeup of the pavement

Source: PennLive.com, "Top 10 most dangerous states to drive in," Accessed on June 18, 2016