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Driver behavior, technology make driving safer

Arkansas motorists may be surprised to learn that in 2013, there were 32,719 fatalities around the country due to motor vehicle accidents. Driving is one of the most dangerous things most individuals do in their day-to-day life. However, both driver behavior and safety technology can reduce the chances of a fatal accident.

People increase their chances of having an accident the more they drive, so shortening a commute by moving closer to work or taking alternate routes is one way to make driving safer. It has been estimated that the odds to a driver of having a fatal accident would be reduced from 1 in 30,400 to 1 in 36,500 if his or her round trip commute was reduced by two miles.

Some car manufacturers began putting seat belts in cars at least as early as 1960, and the government has required them since 1968. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did a study using data from 1960 to 2012 and found that safety technology, including seat belts, has saved an increasing number of lives each year. If everyone had self-driving vehicles, a conservative estimate is that fatality rates would be cut in half.

Driving is still a risky activity, and an individual may be seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver who was driving while fatigued or drunk, using a cellphone or speeding. The injured victim may thus want to have the assistance of an attorney in filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver seeking damages for medical expenses, lost wages and other losses that have been sustained.

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