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The effects of the economy on traffic accidents

Missouri residents might not be aware that there is a connection between driver deaths in traffic accidents and improvement in the economy. The information, presented by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, showed that when the economy improves, driver deaths tend to also increase.

When the unemployment rate dropped, the accident and driver death rate increased inversely. Though a decrease in unemployment usually means an increase in vehicles on the road and driving time, it was not the day-to-day commuting that seems to be affecting the rate. Instead, it seems that the non-necessary driving, such as when people take more vacations, and the risk-taking behavior of speeding, distracted driving or driving under the influence both had a more substantial impact on the number of drivers killed in a car accident.

The IIHS study took into account major safety overhauls made to vehicles within the period studied, which in general has resulted in safer vehicles. For example, the vehicle with the highest death rate for 2014, the Hyundai Accent, showed a significant drop in its rating, from 120 deaths per million registered vehicle years in 2011 to 104 deaths in 2014. The vehicle had been redesigned in 2012 and incorporated more effective safety features. In theory, the safety features of vehicles should reduce the death rate. However, other changes in the way drivers behave must take effect for the death rate to substantially drop, particularly when the future seems to be geared towards fully automated vehicles sharing the road with conventional ones.

Most car accidents are the result of human factors. When a person is injured due to the negligence of another driver, an attorney could in some cases assist in seeking appropriate compensation, either through a settlement from the insurance company or through a lawsuit filed against the at-fault motorist.

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