Recent traffic accident data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted a small decrease in American roadside deaths in 2017 (37,133) compared with 2016 (37,461). This number has been steadily increasing since 2013 before its recent drop. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao recognized this downward trend, but also expressed that there’s still work to be done to decrease roadside deaths significantly. Here’s what we can learn from recent accident data.
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Statistically, teen drivers and seniors are more likely to figure in an accident. As such, most insurance companies consider them more risky and expensive to insure compared to other drivers. Younger drivers tend to commit mistakes, such as tunnel vision, distracted driving, or speeding, which may lead to road accidents or put other drivers’ and pedestrians’ safety at risk. On the other hand, seniors age 70 years or older who have poorer eyesight and slower reflexes that impact their driving ability may be charged with higher insurance costs.
Insurers don't determine your actual cash value (ACV) settlement based on what you owe, but rather on what the car is worth just prior to the accident. Let's say you owe $20,000 on your new car, but it's only worth about $16,000. If your car is totaled, you might get a settlement check of $16,000 but still owe an additional $4,000 on your loan or lease.
The need for helmets isn’t just to keep you alive; it may help you recover damages for injuries to the head. Wearing your helmet may not be the deciding factor to your injury claim, but it shows you’re a responsible motorcyclist. It could also indicate the negligence of the other driver. Insurance companies may also take helmet use into consideration. For example, if you were not wearing a helmet and sustained injuries during an accident, you may have to prove to the insurer that you would still have been injured even with a helmet.
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