According to preliminary estimates newly released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle accident fatalities in the US are down 4.2 percent through the first six months of 2013.

From January 1 through June 30, an estimated 15,470 people were killed in accidents, down from 16,150 over the same period in 2012. Per 100 million miles driven, the fatality rate dropped from 1.1 to just 1.06, the lowest rate in more than 60 years.

Last year, accident fatalities increased for the first time since 2005, when fatality totals peaked at 43,510. For seven consecutive years, totals dropped all the way to 32,367 in 2011, the lowest total in more than half a century. In 2012 however, deaths rose through all four quarters, and the 1.16 deaths per 100 million miles driven fatality rate was the highest since 2008.

Warmer weather was partially to blame for 2012’s increase, as a shorter winter increased the summer driving season. Through the first three months of the year, accident fatalities rose by more than 12.5%. A recovering national economy also contributed, as explained by NHTSA Administrator David Strickland in an interview in May. “With a rebuilding economy, there’s increased discretionary driving, which is clearly always the leader in terms of dangerous driving scenarios.”

Motorcycle usage and accidents were on the rise throughout the year as well. “We’re [also] seeing a really heightened number of motorcycle crashes and fatalities, which has really been driving the numbers in a lot of states,” Strickland added. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, an estimated 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in 2012, representing almost 15% of all fatalities.

With fatality totals again in decline through the first six months of 2013, the trend reversed in 2012 appears to have returned, again dropping accident totals to historic lows. Advanced accident avoidance technologies like frontal collision warning, lane departure warning, and automatic brakes already in development and production will look to continue this trend, further reducing fatalities and increasing the safety of US roads.

Today however, accidents remain a serious threat. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, you may have the right to legal action, as there are protections in place designed to help victims back on their feet. Depending on the circumstances that led to your accident, you may be entitled to compensation from those at fault to cover the cost of your damages, both physical and psychological.

At AA Accident Attorneys, we understand you legal rights, and will fight to get you everything that you need to recover. We can file your claim and negotiate with your insurance provider, and even connect you with medical professionals trained to treat your specific injuries.

For more information about what a Los Angeles car accident lawyer can do for you, or for a free consolation to discuss your legal options, call us right away. As always, we will not charge you for our services until your case is completed; if we cannot collect on your case, then you will not owe us anything.