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IIHS examines data on driver fatality rates

Montana drivers of SUVs, minivans and pickups might be less likely to lose their lives in a motor vehicle accident compared to drivers of other types of vehicles. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety examined driver deaths in vehicles registered for the years 2011 to 2014. They found that there was an average of 30 driver deaths per million registrations. This figure was much lower for driver deaths in minivans at 19 per million registrations. There were 21 for SUVs and 26 for pickups.

The IIHS stated that the data did not entirely reflect the overall safety of vehicles. Since the study required 100,000 registered vehicle years, some models did not meet that threshold or had small sample sizes. The data also did not look at passenger safety. According to the IIHS, vehicles that had a large sample size and high driver safety rating probably tended to be among the safer vehicles to drive.

While traffic fatalities rose to 35,000 in 2015, this number was considerably lower than the figures from 1990 to 2007, which were often higher than 40,000. This recent increase has been attributed to a better economy that has led to more vehicles on the road. With more manufacturers including autonomous safety technology in their cars and an eventual rise in autonomous vehicles, traffic fatality rates may drop again.

Motor vehicle accidents may happen for a number of reasons. A driver might be drowsy, distracted, under the influence of drugs or alcohol or negligent in some other way. Other drivers and passengers might be seriously injured in these accidents, and the recovery could be expensive. People injured in car accidents might want to consult with attorneys about how they can obtain enough compensation to covers these costs. A civil lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for the accident might be one alternative.

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Towe & Fitzpatrick, PLLC
619 SW Higgins, Ste. O
P.O. Box 1745
Missoula, MT 59806

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