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Texting, changing music, eating, chatting with passengers: there are many reasons why a driver might be distracted on the road. This does not even include other issues such as driving while intoxicated. But just how many fatal accidents have occurred over the last decade, and has the trend been worsening or improving?

First, one must take a look at the reasons for car accidents. Some accidents are simply unavoidable due to bad timing or faulty manufacturing. Some accidents occur because of the driver’s neglect or poor maintenance of their vehicle. However, most accidents occur either due to distraction or because the driver is impaired. Fatal accidents due to texting and driving or driving after drinking have been an issue for many years. Some people may assume that they have been on the rise along with the popularity of smart phones.

However, despite the odds, it appears that fatal accidents have actually decreased in the last decade. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration keep track of all lethal car accidents in the United States. Currently, there are 19 years on record ending with the year 2012. The number of lethal accidents in 2002 was 38,491. In 2012, the fatalities were down to 30,800. With the exception of a few years, the number of fatal accidents has been decreasing continuously. It is not known why that might be.

Despite the drop in accidents, the number of lethal accidents is still very large. Due to this, there have been continued campaigns to limit preventable accidents that will benefit all drivers.