Each time you die in a short amount of time the counter increases it is meant to punish people who keep dying to much. Only way to avoid it to stop dying a lot in a short period of time. The timer does not increase if you go long periods of time between death.
whenever i notice someone in a pug dying too much, i just leave.
[12:35] Vessel Two of Two Unimatrix 01 deals 225232 (271723) Plasma Damage to you with Plasma Lance.
[12:44] Vessel One of Two Unimatrix 01 deals 1019527 (1157678) Kinetic Damage to you with Plasma Energy Bolt Explosion.
Timer there to give some penalty to dying, some reason to not kamikaze every 5 seconds.
Time gets a bit long after a few deaths and it's annoying. But to compare to WoW where you have to either ghost back to your body or have someone rez you it's not that bad. Try dying in a WoW raid... there's 1 or 2 rezs allowed for the whole team, after that you get to be a spectator till the fight is done.