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NSC's 2019 traffic death estimates provide good and bad news

Drivers in Georgia should know that there is some good news and bad news regarding the number of traffic fatalities in 2019. Preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council say that 38,800 people in the U.S. died in traffic accidents that year. This represents a 2% decline from the previous year and a 4% decrease from 2017, but the number is still admittedly high.

Breaking things down by state, the NSC pointed to a 13% reduction in traffic deaths in Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont and Washington, D.C. It noted that Utah has lowered its legal blood alcohol concentration limit from .08 to .05 and that other states may follow suit in adopting this measure against drunk driving. The report also mentions that 10 cities have embraced a Vision Zero model of crash mitigation.

However, there are concerns. Several states, including Delaware, Maine, Nebraska, Ohio and Tennessee, saw an increase of 5% or more in traffic fatalities. Certain factors in these increases cannot be studied except with a longer timeline, complicating matters. For example, there has been little attempt to analyze, individually, the various features that compose advanced driver assistance systems. These features, ranging from automatic emergency braking to back-up cameras, can backfire in their intended effect and actually make drivers complacent and unsafe.

Drivers can cause car collisions precisely by trusting too much in their ADAS technology, and they cannot lay the blame on that tech. Victims, for their part, may want to file a claim against the negligent driver who harmed them, but they may want a lawyer to evaluate the case before starting. They might want to hire the lawyer for continual assistance with the gathering of evidence and with the negotiation of a settlement out of court.

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