It seemed as though there was cause for celebration after it seemed as though the nation's roads were getting safer and the drivers more cautious. This theory was measured and reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in annual accident reports. For nearly a decade, these statistics have shown that the number of fatal accidents had decreased from the year before. This has been true for the past seven years, until now. As the year 2012 closes out, data was released by the NHTSA that shows that there was a 7.1 percent increase thus far in the number of people who died on America's roadways this year versus in 2011. The NHTSA pointed out in statements that were released to the public that 2011 numbers had been the lowest they had ever been in the past 60 years. The agency said that the increase could be in correlation with the number of miles driven by the average person. Specifically, from January to September of 2012 the miles traveled increased from the year before by 0.6 percent or the equivalent of 14.2 billion miles. No one knows why accident numbers really increase or decrease each year. There could be several factors, but the hardest to predict and the one that causes the most accidents is human error more commonly referred to as negligence in the personal injury process. While the driver may claim that an accident was due to a mistake in judgment such as looking down at a text message, the family who loses a loved one as a result would see it differently. Source: Star Tribune, "Road fatalities on rise in Minnesota, nation," Tim Harlow, Dec. 24, 2012 If your loved one incurred fatal injuries in a New Jersey Highway Accident, our website provides information on the compensation that you may be eligible for and a starting point for the process of holding a driver responsible for the mistakes that another paid for with their life.