The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has reported that traffic fatalities were at a five-year high last month. Car accidents resulted in 34 deaths in February, 12 more than last year. WisDOT is concerned that people are not wearing their seatbelts, which puts them at a higher risk of being ejected from the vehicle in the event of an accident.

According to a State Patrol spokesperson, wearing a seatbelt is one of the most effective ways to prevent traffic deaths. The “click it or ticket” campaign to encourage seatbelt use aims to reduce the number of preventable traffic fatalities to zero.

In 2012, 78 people have died in Wisconsin traffic accidents, including three pedestrians. There have been a total of 65 crashes so far. Authorities say that there have been multiple fatalities per crash when both the driver and passenger have been unbuckled.

Many different elements contribute to car crashes, and both police and insurance companies investigate extensively to determine the causes. For victims who survive a crash, it can be helpful to have your own investigation conducted and to consult with independent counsel before making agreements with insurance companies or accepting responsibility for an accident.

Attorneys often consult with eye witnesses, examine the debris, and look at the damage to the vehicles or other property involved to get a full sense of what happened during the crash. Sometimes a driver or passenger’s perception of what happened is different than what eyewitnesses believe they saw. Having a dedicated advocate and car accident lawyer can also help relieve some of the stress of dealing with the aftermath of an accident.