The end of the year traditionally brings with it a look at what occurred over the prior 12 months. It is fairly common for the final days of December to bring with them long lists of trends and statistics for Wisconsin residents. Totaling up every car accident and fatality that happened can help give a more clear picture of what occurred throughout the year.

Officials say the number of car crashes resulting in a fatality was up for 2013 but still less than it had been in years past. Just over 500 people died on Wisconsin roads last year. This was almost 100 fewer people than the number who died in 2012.

Emergency personnel say the decrease is due to increased enforcement of traffic laws. They also point to better education concerning the use of seat belts. Public awareness and education about drunken driving are also cited as contributing factors.

Prior to 2013, the safest year to drive in Wisconsin was 2009. Officials reported 542 deaths that year. Before that, the safest records of driving occurred around the time of World War II.

Many factors are thought to affect the prevalence of road fatalities. Reports indicate that alcohol is a contributing factor in around 40 percent of Wisconsin’s vehicle-related incidents. Driving too fast is also listed, as is distracted driving.

For the people in Wisconsin whose lives have been affected by a fatal car accident or a collision that caused lasting injury, the positive statistics offer hollow comfort. In those cases, the people involved might consider filing a personal injury case in a civil court of law. Depending on their individual circumstances, it might be the best way to put the past behind them so they might begin to heal.

Source: Green Bay Press Gazette,State highways safer in 2013, Nathan Phelps, Dec. 27, 2013