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Safety technology leads to fewer driving fatalities

Individuals in New York can reduce the chance that they will be in a fatal car accident by spending less time in the car and taking advantage of available safety technology. Driving remains one of the most dangerous activities most people engage in although one study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that since 1960, the number of lives saved by safety technology, including seat belts, has increased.

The study looked at data from 1960 to 2012. In 1968, the government began to mandate the inclusion of seat belts in cars, but some manufacturers had already begun including them several years earlier. Over the time period studied, safety technology saved an average of 11,575 lives per year, but in 2012, 27,600 lives were saved.

For those who commute to work by car, living one mile closer to work can reduce the odds of a car accident as well. A change to living five miles away instead of six means that there is a 1 in 36,500 chance of a fatal accident versus a 1 in 30,400 for those who are driving the extra two miles round trip each day.

Newer technology could make driving even safer. In 2013, there were 32,719 fatalities related to motor vehicles. That number could be cut in half if everyone had self-driving cars.

Despite the best technology and safer driver behavior, accidents still happen. An individual might be injured in an accident in which they are a passenger, or they might be hit by another driver. They might be a pedestrian or bicyclist. If the individual is seriously injured, the insurance company of the responsible driver may not offer very much for compensation. If this occurs, the injured individual may wish to speak to an attorney about filing a civil suit.

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