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Death rates drop with improved auto safety tech

People taking a drive on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and throughout the state are all too aware of the dangers that can accompany them on the road. Distracted driving, drunk or drugged driving and negligent operators can all pose a serious risk to drivers and their passengers. However, the chances of losing one's life due to an auto accident have declined with the advances of safety features and improved technologies in late-model passenger vehicles.

The improvements in safety are dramatic and have provided meaningful decreases in driver deaths in car accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that nine vehicles produced in 2011 had driver death rates of zero through 2012, according to the statistics produced in their study. Improved design for vehicles, including different types of cars being built and the addition of more safety features, has contributed substantially to the decline in driver deaths, particularly from 1993 through 2006. Researchers with the IIHS said that if vehicles still had 1985 technology in 2012, there would have been 7,700 more driver deaths, pointing to real lives saved by improved features.

One type of vehicle that has shown considerable improvement in its safety is the sport-utility vehicle or SUV. While decades ago, SUVs were at risk of rollover, the IIHS' statistics show that SUVs are among the safer vehicles on the road. Results for each year showed ongoing improvement, as 2011 models showed reduced driver deaths when compared to 2008 vehicles.

Improved technology and safety built into a car is important, but it is only one part of the puzzle when it comes to protection on the roadway. Even great safety tech cannot always protect drivers from negligent, drunk or dangerous drivers. A personal injury lawyer may be able to provide important advice and representation to people who have been injured in car crashes through no fault of their own. It may be possible to pursue compensation for the damages caused, including medical bills and lost wages.

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