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A stronger economy means higher road fatalities

North Carolina residents are probably aware that the economy has been on the upswing, but what they may not know is that economic improvement is linked to more driver deaths. When an economy is healthier, there are more drivers on the road more often. The more a driver is on the road, the higher the risk of being in an accident.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety did a study looking at the three years between 2012 and 2015, which compared the number of fatalities for certain makes and models of vehicles. The study found an overall increase in traffic deaths for 2014 models. The 2014 models are generally safer than 2011 models, so the increase could be due to a stronger economy that enables more drivers to be on the road.

A statistical model was created that correlates the decline in unemployment with the rise in traffic deaths. The model tracked unemployment rates and traffic fatalities starting in 1990, and it showed that a decrease in the unemployment rate from 6 percent to 5 percent meant a 2 percent increase in highway deaths. Even though technology is advancing and cars are becoming safer, there still will not be much of a decline in highway accidents that result in death because the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the unemployment rate will continue to decrease.

Drivers who have been in a recent accident might not have known that their risk was increased due to a healthier economy. Negligent drivers often cause car accidents, and occupants of other vehicles who have been injured as a result might want to meet with an attorney to see what would be the best method of seeking compensation for their losses.

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