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Roads more dangerous when employment increases

Minnesota residents may be at a higher risk of getting into a car accident in a late-model vehicle according to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This is because a stronger economy means more drivers as well as increasingly risky behavior while on the road. The driver death rate for the model year 2014 was 30 per million registered vehicles, which is up from 28 per million registered vehicles from the 2011 model year.

Accident rates also vary depending on the type of car that is being driven. There were 11 vehicles that had no driver deaths while the Hyundai Accent had 104 deaths per million vehicles registered. Since the 1970s, the number of road deaths in the United States had been falling. That changed in 2015 when road fatalities increased by 7 percent, and it is likely that the rate increased in 2016 as well.

According to data from the IIHS, a drop in the unemployment rate from 6 percent to 5 percent equates to a 2 percent increase in miles traveled. This is partially because people are more likely to go out to dinner or take a vacation during better economic times. The decrease in the unemployment rate was also equated to a 2 percent jump in deaths that occur on America's roads.

Drivers, passengers or others who are hurt by a reckless driver may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. A driver may have been negligent in causing a crash by driving too fast for road conditions, being impaired by drugs or alcohol or by driving while using a cell phone. If negligence did cause an accident, injured victims may receive a financial award to help pay for medical bills or to help make up for lost wages or lost future earnings.

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Law Office of Jeffrey A. Jones, PA

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