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Study Suggests Education, Wealth May Impact Fatal Crash Risks

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Financial wealth can buy us a lot of things - nice clothes, expensive meals, and in some cases better health - but can it also improve one’s risks of surviving a car accident? According to a new study recently published in the American Journal of Epidemiology last week, it just might.

The study examined the role of socioeconomic status on the outcomes of victims involved in car accidents across the U.S. For the study, researchers analyzed data from fatal auto accidents spanning from 1995 to 2010 gathered from the National Center for Health statistics. Here are some of their findings:

  • Researchers suggest that poor and less educated motorists are more likely to die in car accidents than more financially well-off and better educated peers.
  • The study found that individuals age 25 and older with less than a high school diploma faced elevated risks of being killed in traffic accidents, and that the risks escalated over time.
  • The disparity in death rates of less educated motorists was roughly 2.5 times higher than well-educated motorists in 1995, according to the study. In 2010, the disparity increased to 4.3 times.

Researchers behind the study acknowledged that it may be difficult to pinpoint the precise reasons behind the study’s findings, but they did speculate factors that would likely contribute. These can include:

  • Old, dangerous, or poorly maintained roads and infrastructure in low-income communities
  • Alternative forms of travel used by lower income individuals that make them more vulnerable to serious injuries, including walking, biking, or commuting by bus.
  • Financial resources that enable car buyers to purchase newer and safer cars equipped with the latest safety features.

Although the study calls to attention the disparity in roadway safety - and the need to ensure everyone is safe on public roads - it is reassuring to note that during the course of the study, total car accident deaths did decrease. Researchers further suggested that the study should give rise to conversations about distributing important safety features to vehicles in all price ranges.

At The Daspit Law Firm, we believe everyone - regardless of their background - deserves the right to quality legal representation after being hurt in any type of car accident. Additionally, we know that taking precautions and using all the latest safety devices does not fully eliminate one’s risks of being injured by another’s negligence.

If you have questions about your rights after a traffic accident, contact our Houston car accident attorneys for a FREE case evaluation.

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