New Study Identifies Most and Least Safest Vehicles on the Road in Omaha
Every year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and National Highway Safety Administration publish statistics on the fatality rates of vehicles in America. These statistics offer insight into the safest and least safe vehicles on the roads.
After any auto accident, injury victims have legal rights which must be protected. Omaha residents trust the experienced car accident attorneys at the Ausman Law Firm to secure fair legal compensation. This typically requires proof of negligence, which involves establishing:
- Breach of Duty
While it sounds simple enough, there are specific legal requirements that must be met to prove each element, and car accident lawsuits can quickly become more complex than they might initially seem. Some cases may solely involve the drivers, but there may also be potential government liability for unsafe roads, dram shop liability for negligent service of alcohol, vicarious liability for negligent employee drivers or product liability for poorly-designed vehicles and parts.
Consumer Choices Reduce the Risk of Being Injured in a Car Accident
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released data on fatality rates among vehicles in the 2014 model year (and equivalent vehicles in the 2012-2015 model years). Historically, small cars have been found to be the most dangerous on the road. The 2014 model year data continued this trend: of the ten vehicles with the highest fatality rates, five were mini cars and three were small cars. The historical data has consistently found that small cars simply do not afford the protection that large vehicles do during a collision.
In addition to the Insurance Institute study, another study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that newer model year vehicles were safer than older vehicles. The study demonstrated that the risk of a driver being fatally injured in an accident increased as the age of the vehicle being driven increased, and also in vehicles of earlier model years.
The data is clear: Larger, newer vehicles offer the best chances of survival in a car accident. The safest strategy for car buyers would, therefore, be to buy a large sport utility vehicle with four-wheel drive, and replace this vehicle every model year. Unfortunately, that strategy is simply not realistic for most car buyers. A more realistic strategy which still promotes a driver's chances of survival would be to buy the most safety he or she can afford. Choosing the newer of two vehicles - and the larger of two vehicles - can reduce the risk of being injured in a car accident.
Driving Behavior Reduces the Risk of Causing a Car Accident
The best way to prevent injury is to reduce the risk of collision altogether. Driver behavior is the most important factor in avoiding collisions.
- Drive defensively by maintaining constant awareness of your surroundings. Never assume that another driver will yield the right of way - even when it legally belongs to you.
- Reduce speed when conditions such as slick roads or poor visibility make it more difficult to react to obstacles in the roadway.
- Eliminate distractions within the vehicle. Entertainment systems, navigation systems, and the ever-present smartphone have created endless temptations for drivers to divert their attention from the road. Turn off unnecessary electronics and store them out of arm's reach. Children and pets, food and drink, and many other distractions are also common problems for drivers. Be aware of these distractions and be prepared to keep focus on the road in spite of them.
- Enact and enforce clear rules for teen driver about vehicle safety. Inexperienced drivers are particularly vulnerable to situation which they are unprepared to react to.