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Increased safety features drops number of highway car crashes

A new study by the federal government has shown that the number of highway deaths has dropped to an all-time low. Last year marked the lowest number of fatalities in highway car crashes since the government first started recording them in 1921. Some think that this can be traced back to the ever-increasing safety features that are now coming standard on many new vehicles.

Car manufacturers are coming up with these new safety designs, in part, because of federal mandates on new cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently ordered all new vehicles come with electronic stability control as a standard feature and it is considering including back-up cameras, as well. On the other hand, the cost of safety technology has made it possible for many manufacturers to simply come up with and include these features on their own for New York drivers.

While this focus on vehicle safety certainly does a lot to avoid fatal car accidents, it is ultimately up to dangerous or reckless drivers to reform the way they drive. In many cases, it is another driver that causes an accident and sometimes it doesn't matter how much safety equipment is in a vehicle when an accident happens. Even with the best air bags, brakes and stability control, a drunk driver can take out a motorist and his or her passengers.

It is an absolute tragedy that even though cars are becoming safer, New York drivers still have to worry about reckless drivers causing car crashes, serious injuries or death. While accident victims can hold the drivers who hit them responsible for their injuries, it is ultimately up to careless drivers to prevent accidents in the first place.

Source: MSNBC, "Highway deaths plunging as cars become safer," Paul A. Eisenstein, May 21, 2012

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