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Reducing driving risks

It may not be difficult for a Pennsylvania motorist to recognize that less time on the roads means less potential for accidents. However, the idea of cutting a mile from the route between home and work might seem inadequate to make much difference in accident statistics. The reality is that a reduction of 1 mile from the route equates to an estimated 500 fewer miles driven per year. On a national scale, similar changes being implemented in all households could represent a reduction of nearly 2 percent in auto-related fatalities per year.

Statistics indicate that a cumulative 3 trillion vehicle miles were driven in 2013, and there were nearly 1.1 deaths per 100 million miles driven. As experts point out the potential reduction in deaths through less miles being driven, they also point to technology as a method for reducing motor vehicle accident fatalities. The use of seat belts was limited prior to the 1960s. In 1968, however, the government began to require their use in the manufacture of automobiles. The estimated average of saved lives per year between 1960 and 2012 by auto technology is nearly 12,000, according to NHTSA data. New technologies are being refined that offer a potential to save even more lives. However, technological solutions that involve electronics also still carry some risks.

Because adjusting driver behavior is one of the simplest ways to make a direct, personal impact on safety on the road, it is important to be aware of safety issues that increase one's accident risks. It is also possible to re-evaluate one's commute to determine whether there are shorter or safer routes.

Despite advanced technology, car accidents will continue to occur, and they are often caused by a driver who is distracted, impaired or otherwise negligent. A person who has been injured in such an accident may want to have the assistance of an attorney in seeking compensation from the at-fault motorist for the losses that have been sustained.

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Gregory R. Gifford
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Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford has been a member of the local Penn Suburban Chamber of Commerce (previously known as North Penn Suburban Chamber of Commerce) for more than 25 years.

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