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IIHS study looks at driver fatality data

Florida motorists may be able to identify some safer vehicles by looking at a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that examined driver fatality rates in different types of vehicles. The IIHS looked at data for vehicle models from 2011 to 2015 and found that the average driver fatality rate in all vehicles per million vehicle registrations was 30. At 39 fatalities per million, passenger cars had the highest death rates for drivers. Pickups, SUVs and minivans were all safer with rates of 26, 21 and 19 respectively.

The study did not examine passenger fatalities, and in order to be included, a vehicle needed 100,000 registered vehicle years. Therefore, the results are an imperfect snapshot of vehicle safety. According to the vice-president of research at IIHS, the best way to assess safety from the results is to look at vehicles that had a high sample size and a low fatality rate.

Motor vehicle deaths rose in 2015 to more than 35,000 after several years of decline. However, this is still lower than a peak period from 1990 to 2007. Experts believe that the increase was due to an improving economy that meant more vehicles were on the road. It is anticipated that the increasing automation of vehicles and use of safety technology may mean safer highways.

Fatal motor vehicle accidents may be devastating to the surviving family members of the decedent. In addition to their emotional distress, they may be left with financial problems as well. If the accident was caused by the negligence of another party, such as an impaired motorist or a defective auto part, an attorney could be of assistance in seeking compensation on their behalf through a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the at-fault party.


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