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Improving economy leads to more traffic deaths

Florida motorists may be surprised to learn that the improving economy is causing more Americans to die in crashes involving late-model vehicles, according to a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The organization notes that deaths are increasing despite continued improvements in vehicle safety design.

The IIHS calculated that the death rate for 2014 model passenger vehicles is 30 per every 1 million registered vehicle years. This is an increase from 28 deaths per 1 million registered vehicle years for 2011 models. The model with the worst death rate was the Hyundai Accent, with 104 deaths per 1 million registered vehicle years. Meanwhile, 11 other models had a death rate of zero.

In 2015, overall traffic fatalities spiked 7 percent over the previous year. Preliminary numbers suggest deaths also rose in 2016. According to IIHS, the increase is deaths is linked to the improving economy and falling unemployment. This is because the more discretionary income that people have, the more they hit the road. Further, the organization found that Americans tend to speed more when the economy is better. A representative for IIHS said that vehicle safety will continue to improve, but it will be decades before technologies like autonomous vehicles can eliminate all traffic deaths.

Victims of car accidents may require the representation of a personal injury attorney in order to recover damages. An attorney could use accident investigation reports, witness testimony and other evidence to prove that another driver was legally liable for the crash. If the suit is successful, a crash victim could receive financial compensation for the losses that have been sustained.

Source: IIHS, "Higher driver death rate is a downside of economic recovery", May 25, 2017

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