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Higher employment equals more traffic fatalities

Research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that an improved economy with less unemployment leads to higher death rates on the roads of Louisiana and across the country. Data from 2014 produced a driver death rate of 30 per 1 million registered vehicle years across all 2014 models. This represented an increase from 2011 when the rate was 28. When cross referencing driver death rates with unemployment figures, the institute identified a relationship between the two factors.

According to the institute's report, a decline in unemployment of 1 percentage point, in this case from 6 percent to 5 percent, produces a 2 percent increase in the number of miles traveled by vehicles. With more people spending more time on the road, opportunities for accidents rise. The slight drop in unemployment results in a 2 percent rise in traffic fatalitiesas well. A vice president from the institute explained that higher employment enabled people to engage in more leisure driving for dinners out or vacations. He identified this type of driving as riskier than daily commuting to jobs.

He added that behaviors such as speeding and impaired driving continue to take away from safety improvements achieved by advances in vehicle design. Engineering has substantially improved crash test results for vehicles since the early 1970s. Although the most recent advances in autonomous vehicles offer the hope of preventing almost all crashes, that possibility remains decades away.

It has been found that the overwhelming majority of motor vehicle accidents are attributable to human factors. When a person is injured in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, such as one who was impaired by alcohol or distracted by a cellphone, an attorney could assist in seeking appropriate compensation.

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