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Safety technology in cars saves more lives each year

Drivers in New York may not know that they could reduce their chances of being in a fatal accident by shortening their commute to work. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an individual who drives 10 miles round trip to work each day has only a 1 in 36,500 chance of being in a fatal car accident while one who drives 12 miles round trip has a 1 in 30,400 chance.

In addition to driver behavior, safety technology is an important element of making driving safer. The NHTSA found that between 1960 and 2012, an average of 11,575 lives were saved each year due to safety technology. The numbers actually increased over the years with 27,600 lives saved in 2012. Safety standards were first mandated by the government in 1968 although some manufacturers began including seat belts and other safety features as early as 1960 or before.

Driving remains one of the more dangerous activities most people do on a regular basis, and in 2013, there were 32,719 fatalities. If all drivers were in self-driving cars, the number of deaths in fatal accidents would be cut in half at a conservative estimate. As safety technology improves, the number of lives saved is likely to continue increasing each year.

However, accidents will still happen, and in some cases, an individual may be seriously injured. The driver who is responsible for the accident might be uninsured, or the insurance company may simply offer too little compensation to cover the expenses of the injured individual. If this happens, the injured individual may wish to file a civil lawsuit against the driver. If the driver was on the job at the time, the driver's company may also share liability.

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