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Driving is safer, but improvements still needed

According to a study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers in Tennessee and throughout the United States are safer each year due to improved safety technology. However, driving remains a risky activity, and in 2013, there were 32,719 fatalities related to motor vehicle accidents.

Both driver behavior and safety technology contribute to fewer fatalities. A driver who moved one mile closer to work to reduce a commute from six miles to five would drive two fewer miles round trip per day and reduce their chances of a fatal accident from one in 30,400 to one in 36,500. If the head of every U.S. household cut their commute by two miles, there would be nearly 550 fewer fatalities annually.

The NHTSA studied standards for safety equipment from 1960 to 2012 and found that an average of 11,575 lives were saved each year due to this equipment. Seat belts have been a mandated safety feature in cars since 1968, but some manufacturers included them earlier. Self-driving cars may represent a significant leap in motor vehicle safety. It is estimated that if everyone had self-driving cars, fatality figures would be at least cut in half.

Unfortunately, despite technological advances, negligent drivers still cause thousands of accidents every year. People who are injured often face high medical expenses and long recovery periods, and in some cases they are unable to return to work, further damaging their financial situation. Such an injured victim may want to speak with a personal injury attorney in order to determine the best way to seek compensation from the at-fault motorist for the losses that have been sustained.

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