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Drivers of Late Model Vehicles Have Lower Risk of Fatal Crashes

Those who have purchased a new car, truck or SUV over the last few years have undoubtedly come to enjoy many of the amenities that their previous vehicle may have been lacking from a bigger engine and more spacious interior to in-dash touchscreen and Bluetooth technology.

As nice as all these features are, however, a recently released study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that many drivers of these late model vehicles are also enjoying another perhaps less obvious benefit: enhanced protection in motor vehicle accidents.

Here, the IIHS researchers looked at fatal car accidents involving 2011 models, examining the number of driver deaths per model during a single year of operation. Their research — reported as the rate per million registered vehicles found — produced the following findings:

  • There was an average of 28 deaths per million registered 2011 vehicle models through calendar year 2012; A significant decline from a previous study, which found an average of 48 deaths per million registered 2008 vehicle models through calendar year 2009.
  • Nine 2011 vehicle models had zero deaths per million registered vehicle models. Â Â

What’s behind these rather encouraging figures?

According to IIHS researchers, the rather sizeable three-year decline in vehicle deaths can be largely attributed to safety improvements in the designs of many vehicles.

For instance, many of the 2011 vehicle models were outfitted with both side airbags and electronic stability control, which greatly reduces the possibility of rollover crashes. Furthermore, many have reinforced occupant compartments that allow the seatbelts and airbags to perform more effectively during collisions.

It’s encouraging to see that automakers are now making safety a priority in vehicle designs and that these efforts are paying off. Yet no matter how hard they work to make cars, trucks and SUVs safer, the fact remains that people will still suffer serious personal injuries — or worse — in car accidents caused by negligent motorists.

When this happens, victims and their families need to know that they can pursue the justice they deserve.

Source: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “Tech advances lower chance that driver will die in car crash,” Joan Lowy, Jan. 29, 2015

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