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Traffic fatalities elevate 12 percent in Delaware

Posted On Tue, January 29, 2013

Delaware motorists may be on the lookout for multiple auto insurance quotes in an effort to keep their costs down after officials recently announced that traffic accidents increased in 2012.

According to the Department of Delaware High Safety, traffic incidents rose last year, particularly with respect to collisions that resulted in a person's death. Highway fatalities jumped 12 percent from 2011, or what amounts to 116 from the 110 fatal crashes overall.

Though the number isn't as high as it's been in recent years - in 2003, there were 148 traffic fatalities - it's a major point of worry for local safety officials and area authorities, Lewis Schiliro, secretary of the state's Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

"The increase in highway fatalities over the last year is very concerning," said Schiliro. "Our priority is continuing to educate our citizens about the many dangers they face on our highways in an effort to reduce fatal crashes."

Of particular concern were the high number of accident fatalities among pedestrians. Delaware officials say that there were 30 fatalities among people walking on the side of the road or crossing the street in 2012, up from 19 total in the previous year.

Many of the reported incidents stemmed from motorists using their cellphones while driving, which caused them to become distracted and hit another vehicle or pedestrian, Delaware officials said.

Delaware is one of the 10 states in which drivers are banned from using handheld devices behind the wheel such as cellphones. The other states where motorists are prohibited from using this type of mobile technology are Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington, California and West Virginia.

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