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Why do traffic accidents happen?

From traffic congestion to inclement weather, drivers throughout Pennsylvania often encounter challenges while driving that, at times, can result in crashes and collisions.

During 2014, more than 121,000 motor vehicle accidents were reported throughout the state. As a result of these accidents, nearly 80,000 people suffered injuries and more than 1,200 died.

These statistics serve as a stark reminder to us all about the dangers we face when we choose to get behind the wheel or into the passenger seat of a motor vehicle. In an effort to understand why so many Pennsylvanians continue to suffer motor vehicle accident-related injuries and deaths; an investigative team at the Patriot-News and analyzed crash data for traffic accidents throughout Central Pennsylvania from 2009 to 2014.

Top 4 Traffic Accident Causes In Central Pennsylvania

1) Aggressive Driving - Drivers who tailgate, disregard traffic signals and in general drive in a reckless and dangerous manner caused nearly 60 percent of motor vehicle accidents or nearly 64,000 collisions.

2) Speeding - Drivers traveling in excess of the speed limit caused approximately 27 percent or 29,000 traffic accidents.

3) Distracted Driving - Distracted drivers were the cause of nearly 13 percent or roughly 14,000 traffic accidents.

4) Drunk Driving - Alcohol was determined to be a factor in nearly 10 percent of traffic accidents, accounting for more than 10,300 crashes.

Other dangerous driving behaviors cited as contributing to traffic accidents throughout the region include drivers who were fatigued, high on drugs and talking or texting on a cellphone.

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries or losses due to the acts of an aggressive, speeding, distracted or drunk driver; it's important to learn more about your options for recovering compensation. In cases where another driver was at fault in causing a traffic accident, you can recover compensation to account for medical expenses, debilitating injuries and lost wages.

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