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Are the Roads Safer? Don’t Believe the Ads.

Article By Travis Jensen in The real world

Is parallel parking a problem for you? Not anymore. Have trouble checking your blind spot? They’ve taken care of that, too.

Technology has made today’s automobiles safer than ever. In addition to 360-degree cameras and parking assist, regular features include adaptive headlights, collision warnings, pedestrian alerts and automatic emergency braking. Some vehicles even come with a telematics system that allows the driver to push a single button to reach a dispatcher in case of an emergency.

Don’t be fooled. You’re less safe driving on the road now than you were at any point this decade.

Auto manufacturers keep introducing new features to make their vehicles as safe as possible, but it turns out that changing driver habits is far more important. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration discovered 94% of motor vehicle deaths could be attributed to the driver rather than road conditions or faulty equipment. Smartphones play a big role in that number. While they may help us stay more connected than ever, they also increase the rate of distracted drivers. The National Safety Council found that one in four vehicle accidents in 2016 involved a cell phone.

To drive the point home: your risk for injury or death in a motor vehicle accident reached a 10-year high in 2016. There were more than 40,000 deaths in automobile accidents in 2016, a 6% increase over the previous year with the largest number of victims since 2007. Per the National Safety Council, motor vehicle deaths have climbed year over year since 2013, with injuries up 7% in 2016 and 4.6 million people seeking medical attention after an accident.

While we’re grateful for technology that saves lives, we’re also aware that we need to be as diligent as ever when driving. If you find yourself involved in an auto accident or victim of a distracted driver, we are here for you. Please give us a call to see how Johnson Jensen can help when you need it most.