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Driver Behavior, Technology Key to Safer Driving

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

California drivers may wonder how the roads can be made safer. Traveling in a car is statistically one of the most dangerous things a person can do, and in 2013, there were more than 32,000 fatalities connected to automobile accidents. Based upon an estimate of 3 trillion vehicle miles being driven that year, this resulted in slightly over one death per 100 million miles.

One way to be safer is of course to drive fewer miles. Based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, shortening a work commute by 1 mile each way lowers the probability of a fatal car crash to one in 36,500 from one in 30,400.

However, in addition to driver behavior, technology has a role to play. An NHTSA study found that between 1960 and 2012, safety technology, including seat belts, saved an average of 11,575 lives per year. The numbers of lives saved increased with each passing year. Self-driving cars may reduce these numbers even more although both manufacturers and consumers will need to compute the costs of these types of vehicles.

Despite the continued advances in safety technology, car accidents will continue to be a fact of life around the country. People who have been injured in a collision may face a long recovery period and expensive medical care and treatment. In many cases, their financial circumstances are worsened due to an inability to return to work for a prolonged period. If it can be determined that an accident was caused by the negligence of another motorist, a personal injury attorney might assist an injured victim in seeking compensation for those and other types of damages through a lawsuit filed against the at-fault driver.