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Despite Improvement in Rankings, Alabama Sees Growth in Fatal Auto Accidents

In 2010, Alabama gained much unwanted publicity when the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced its deadliest states for automobile accidents. The state ranked fifth overall, with 18 traffic-related deaths per 100,000 residents. In 2009, Alabama ranked 11th in the study.

The IIHS recently released its newest data, and Alabama has fallen from the "top 5" to number six. However, despite a welcomed-drop in the overall rankings, the statistics show that Alabama's rate of fatal automobile crashes is not improving. Instead, the state is actually experiencing a slight growth in fatal car wrecks.

YEAR

RANK

DEATHS PER 100,000 RESIDENTS

2009

11

18.0

2010

5

18.0

2011

6

18.6

As shown below, the "rankings" often lead to misconceptions about a given state's highway fatality rate. For instance, Alabama was ranked 11th in 2009, but its average rate of auto accident deaths per resident totaled 18 per 100,000. The rate of Alabama fatal accidents remained the same in 2010 despite a ranking that suggested an increase in total traffic-related deaths. Despite an actual increase in the rate in 2011, Alabama obtained a "safer" ranking than the previous year.

Given its constant rate, Alabama's volatile rank is most likely linked to variations in other states. However, statistics show that states that have moved ahead of Alabama in recent years have often done so due to an unusually high spike in a particular year. Despite its rank, Alabama has consistently remained one of the nation's deadliest states for automobile accidents.

If you lost a family member due to a negligent driver, contact a Birmingham wrongful death attorney immediately. Trial lawyers can educate you on the necessary steps to properly setup the decedent's estate and pursue a claim against the at-fault driver and/or his insurance carrier.

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