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Dangerous driving rises with economic recovery

As the economy improves, drivers in Pennsylvania and across the country could face more dangerous roadways. A study released in May 2017 shows that the death rate for motorists operating newer vehicles has risen as more drivers get on the road and drive more recklessly.

Despite improved vehicle safety technology, deaths in traffic are expected to remain stable or decrease only slightly in the next years as the economy is expected to continue to improve. For people driving 2014 cars, the overall rate of deaths is 30 per 1 million registered users. This is an increase over the 2011 rate, which was 28 per 1 million. There are major differences between the death rates associated with car crashes involving individual vehicles.

The study was released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The last time the IIHS looked at driver death rates, there was an overall decrease attributed to technological advances. In later years, however, these improvements were offset by more, and more dangerous, driving.

In 2008, the same year that a major mortgage and financial crisis hit the U.S. economy, roadway deaths took a major drop. In 2015, as the economy improved and unemployment declined, deaths increased by 7 percent. This same trend continued in 2016, according to preliminary data. In fact, the IIHS said that these results are predictable for an economic recovery period. People are now driving more miles and using their cars more frequently for social events. Furthermore, people tend to drive more recklessly when financial conditions improve.

Auto crashes, whether they result from a rising economy or simple negligent driving, can be the cause of severe personal injuries and devastating consequences. Victims of car accidents caused by drunk, dangerous or distracted driving can work with personal injury lawyers to pursue compensation for their medical bills as well as other damages.

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