Car Accident

Most people generally think that America's highways are getting safer. They've heard about how car accident fatalities have been dropping for years, for instance, thanks to airbags and many other safety innovations.

In the grand scheme, this is true. However, the accident statistics show a disturbing trend from the past few years. Car crashes are actually leading to more deaths.

The 2016 Jump

In 2016, the latest year for which there are complete statistics, a total of 35,092 people were killed in car accidents. That showed a year-over-year increase of about 8 percent. Though it may not sound like much, remember that many years showed a consistent decrease, so anything showing a rise is disconcerting already. Plus, 8 percent is more than it sounds like; that was the biggest jump on a one-year basis in 50 years.

The Cost Is Higher

Not only are accident deaths increasing, but the costs are going up as well. In the last five years, for instance, the average cost per part when repairing a car has increased by a full $300. In just the last year, experts have seen medical costs jump as much as 7 percent. Even the cost of having a loved one pass away in a car accident went up by a full 12 percent between 2015 and 2016 alone.

The Reasons

Experts cite numerous reasons for the increase. At the top of the list is distracted driving; people are more connected to their phones than ever, and it shows. They also nodded to an increase in drivers who just don't have much experience and an increase in congestion on the highways. All of these things combine to make the roads a very dangerous place, even in 2017.

Your Rights

The roads continue to bring a high level of risk, and these statistics show that the dangers -- and related costs -- could be increasing. If you're injured or a loved one is killed, be sure you know all of the rights you have.