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A whopping 242 individuals passed away in auto crashes in West Virginia between the start of last year and Dec. 29. This rate of death associated with car crashes is greater than the national average. West Virginia also appears to have had more car wreck deaths than surrounding states have had.

According to experts, the state has a mountainous terrain that has contributed to its high rate of fatal car collisions. However, driving while intoxicated and speeding on rural roads are a couple of other major factors in the high rate of car accident deaths. Officials said more than 60 percent of fatal crashes took place along rural roads, and more than 30 percent involved speeding.

Also, one-fourth of fatal collisions in the state involved a driver who was inebriated with a 0.08 blood alcohol level. Furthermore, toward the end of December, 236 individuals had been taken into custody for drinking and driving. Another factor contributing to accidents in the state is distracted driving, such as using cell phones behind the wheel.

Anyone who is injured or loses a loved one in a car wreck resulting from another driver’s negligence has the right to seek to hold the other party accountable through the civil court system. An injury victim may file a personal injury claim against the negligent driver, seeking the reimbursement of damages. Likewise, the loved ones of a deceased car accident victim have the right to file a wrongful death claim. A preponderance of the evidence is required to establish liability in these types of car wreck cases in West Virginia.

Source: williamsondailynews.com, “Roads, weather lead to West Virgina’s high fatal crash rate“, Heather Lee Naples, Jan. 4, 2018