From January to June 2015, nearly 19,000 people were killed across the country in motor vehicle accidents, and the number of injuries rose significantly. This represented an increase in deaths of 14 percent over the same period in 2014, and the statistics keep going up.

The traffic experts at the National Safety Council who compile such figures were distressed to see the astonishing jump in highway accident fatalities and injuries — but they think they know why it happened.

Good times signal trouble

The NSC believes that lower gas prices are, in some part, to blame for the fact that we are seeing more car crashes, simply because more people can afford to be driving. If you were headed out on vacation when a drunk driver struck your car, you are the perfect example of someone with a little extra cash on hand. If the economy is on an upswing, more people have jobs and thus more disposable income. They often spend it to take the family on a fun road trip to an enjoyable destination. Most of the time, people get to their hotel or resort without incident, but sometimes the unexpected accident occurs and serious injuries result.

The definition of serious injury

As defined by the NSC, a serious injury is one that requires medical consultation. In the January to June 2015 timeframe, serious injuries resulting from car crashes were up 30 percent over the first half of 2014.

Main reasons for car crashes

According to figures compiled in 2013, alcohol was a factor in 31 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents that year, and any traffic expert can tell you that drunk driving is still a problem today. Excessive speed is another leading cause of lethal car crashes, as is the failure to use seatbelts.

Seek help without delay

Hopefully you and your family had a safe and happy vacation, but if you were injured in a car crash, do not put off medical treatment, even if your injury does not seem to be serious. Your next step is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who will examine the facts of your case, provide you with expert representation and see that you are able to claim all the compensation to which you are entitled.