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Improving safety technology lowers the automobile fatality rate

Although the vast majority of vehicle miles driven in Ohio are completed without incident, there are still a number of serious accidents that occur. Careful attention to the statistical data collected on automobile accidents can glean important insights about driver safety.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released a report studying all the American motor vehicle accidents in 2013. The agency found that about 3 trillion vehicle miles were driven in that year, with 32,719 automobile-related fatalities, counting both occupants and non-occupants. This means that there were, statistically speaking, 1.09 deaths for every 100 million miles driven.

There is the potential for technology to greatly decrease the fatality rate. History has shown that safety devices such as seat belts and airbags have been remarkably effective in preserving human life, and there is hope that even more potent inventions are just around the corner. There is no way of knowing precisely what effect the widespread adoption of self-driving cars will have on the fatality rate, but they are known to be extraordinarily safe to operate. Some experts claim that traffic deaths will be cut in half at the very least.

Despite all safety precautions, people still get behind the wheel after having had too much too drink, and accidents happen as a result. People who are in motor vehicle accidents that have been caused by an impaired or otherwise negligent driver often incur significant injuries that require lengthy and expensive medical care and treatment. Many accordingly see their financial condition worsened even further by a loss of wages due to an inability to work. Someone in this situation may want to meet with a personal injury attorney in order to determine the best way of seeking compensation from the at-fault motorist for the losses that have been incurred.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Making Driving Safe", Stephen Cecchetti, Nov. 3, 2015

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